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Helping Stroke Survivors Heal the brain and Recover Independence


Have you Reached a Plateau in Your stroke Rehab and Recovery?

Stroke Recovery Patient Brad

Our program may be able to help.

This evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approach, is the only one of its kind in Canada. Patients who have survived a stroke come from all over Ontario to determine if they are a candidate and then proceed with the 4-month treatment in our state-of-the-art facility, operating out of Rouge Valley Hospital. We do accept patients from outside of Ontario, but they must be willing to be a daily out-patient of the hospital clinic for 4 months.

Our staff will work with you to help coordinate transportation. For Toronto residents, the most common mode of transportation is with wheel trans pick-up and drop off, at the rear wing of the hospital, where a member of our reception team will greet you. Wheel trans applications are available for download here.

Our Staff

Rita Katznelson, MD, FRCPC

Rita Katznelson, MD, FRCPC

Kaylee Alton, BPhE, ND

Kaylee Alton, BPhE, ND

After a patient is discharged from the hospital, they can begin to work with physical, occupational and speech therapists, to help regain abilities, for typically up to 6 months, at which time they are told there is nothing more they can do. This program aims to change that.

Our first introspective clinical trial in our hyperbaric medical clinic at the Rouge Valley Hospital, was spear-headed by Dr. Rita Katznelson, and took 25 stroke survivors with debilitating symptoms, that met the inclusion criteria, and put them through the program. The results were in line with other HBOT therapy for stroke clinical trials being done around the world. Patients who came in a wheelchair, were able to walk out. Patients who came in with aphasia, were able to talk again, do up their buttons, regain control.

Patients do not need a referral and are able to self refer by calling the clinic to book a complimentary discovery call or meet and greet. Come see our hyperbaric clinic, we’d love to show you around.

Call our clinic: 647 - 484 - 4923

Our private pay multi-disciplinary, 4-month intensive, stroke recovery program covers the 3 areas of support patients are searching for once their acute care in-hospital ends: Treatment, Ongoing Stroke Rehabilitation and Stroke Prevention. This program was developed to help patients who have plateaued in their recovery, heal the brain and recover speech, balance, coordination and walking again.

This program works with patients daily, for 4 intensive months, with pre, during, and post-treatment assessments looking at gait, coordination, speech, mood, and the body’s brain and biochemistry.

Treatments are evidence-based and work well because of the synergistic nature that the multi-disciplinary approach allows for: regrow neurons and awaken dormant tissue, impacted from the stroke.

Treatments include naturopathic medicine, clinical nutrition, speech language therapy, physical medicine and physiatry and combined with hyperbaric oxygen medicine, all supervised by hyperbaric physicians and naturopathic doctors. The multi-pronged approach helps the brain improve mitochondrial function and cellular respiration to regenerate neurons, restore functional integrity to dormant areas following a stroke, stabilize integrity of the phospholipid bilayer of all cells to improve their communication and nerve signaling, as well as balancing neurotransmitters based on biochemistry and physiology of the brain and neuro-endocrine system.

Stroke Symptoms:

Many of our patients have one or more symptoms of:

  • ataxia

  • dysphagia

  • aphasia

  • imbalance and difficulty walking

  • difficulty gaining muscle mass

  • chronic fatigue

  • hypertension

  • diabetes

  • restless legs

  • insomnia

  • mood swings

For the first time, all these symptoms are addressed in the same program, providing synergy, which exponentially increases the opportunity for results.

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This program is not covered by OHIP or any government funding. Payment plans are available and will be discussed in person, with a team physician. Many of our patients raise money for the program through crowd sourcing or a go-fund-me account, from supporters and loved ones.

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Every nine minutes a Canadian will have a stroke. Over 62,000 Canadians have a stroke each year and there are over 400,000 stroke survivors in Canada. Stroke affects not only the survivor, but the entire family, loved ones and friends as they adjust to the ‘new normal’ which may include permanent physical disability, communication disorders such as aphasia and emotional difficulties, including depression.
— https://afterstroke.marchofdimes.ca/
Stroke Recovery Patient Anna
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The Stroke Recovery Program Includes:

  • 4-months

  • Weekly visits with a team physician

  • A one-on-one health coach

  • Health Education Group Classes

  • Pre-Treatment Lab Testing, Physical Testing

  • 2 Rounds of HBOT multi-disciplinary treatment: 20 sessions, Monday-Friday, for 4 continuous weeks, 40 sessions total; 1 week max between rounds

  • Pre-HBOT Assessment by Hyperbaric Physician, Naturopathic Doctor, Physiatrist, Speech Language Pathologist

  • After Your First Round: Re-Assessment Scores

  • Post- 2 Rounds: Final Assessment Scores and Maintenance plan

  • Post Treatment Lab Testing, Physical Testing


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What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, HBOT?

HBOT, for the Treatment of a Stroke

A stroke affects the patient by depriving their brain and neurologic tissue of oxygen. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), is an outpatient procedure where the patient is placed in a chamber, that gets pressurized and 100 percent pure oxygen is pumped into the chamber, increasing the uptake of oxygen, or breathing, done by each cell, especially in the brain. The blood brain barrier is difficult for other medications and therapies to cross, but the pressurized application of oxygen allows the blood to be so saturated with O2 that it increases cellular breathing in the brain tissue as well. This acts to increase detoxification of the brain’s inflammation, and when given simultaneous oral and injection therapy of vitamins, minerals and supplements that can affect the brain chemistry, promotes growth of new blood vessels in damaged areas.

After a stroke, there are cells that are dysfunctional, but still alive. HBOT wakes up these stunned neurons and stimulates proliferation of new neurons, facilitating the brain's ability to compensate for deficits.

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The pressurized oxygen saturates the blood and nourishes tissues, regardless of the absence of red blood cells, when hyperbaric oxygen therapy is utilized.  The pressurized chamber forces oxygen into all areas of the body, resulting in a re-awakening of dormant areas of the brain prevalent in persons who have suffered a stroke. In addition, the therapy decreases swelling of chronically traumatized areas of the brain as well as other swollen tissues. Hyperbaric therapy is also known to regenerate new blood vessels to damaged areas of the brain and aids in the repair and restoration of glial cells, extracellular matrix and injured neurons. Many of our patients have finished treatment with improved speech, balance, motor skills, ability to have an improved quality of life.

The sooner the better for treatment. We recommend patients use this program if they have had a debilitating stroke in the last 4 years. We can support patients as soon as 3 months post-stroke.

Call us to learn more 647 - 484 - 4923

Patients are encouraged to apply to the program and a complimentary meet and greet phone or in-person consultation will be booked for them, to review what the program entails and the commitment it will require. Patients who then wish to move forward, will be asked to book an initial assessment with our anesthesiologist, to determine if they are a good candidate for the full program.

Dr. Alton is the co-lead of a multi-disciplinary post-stroke recovery and brain rehab program, operating out of Rouge Valley Hospital in East Scarborough. Our program is unique in that it covers the 3 areas of support for a patient after their acute care in the hospital ends: Treatment, Ongoing Stroke Rehabilitation and Stroke Prevention. The program requires 1 month before HBOT and intensive therapy of assessments, lab testing, and any pre-treatments necessary, to get patients prepared for the intensive 2-month, daily dives in the HBOT chambers and on-site rehab work. Followed by another month of re-assessment visits and testing and stroke prevention education and a maintenance plan. Some patients choose to continue another 20 rounds of treatment.

SUPPORTING PATIENTS POST- STROKE AND TBI WITH RECOVERY FROM DYSPHAGIA, APHASIA, ATAXIA, RESTLESS LEGS, MOOD CHANGES AND WALKING AND COORDINATION

Our program offers stroke survivors a one-stop-shop approach, to receive comprehensive care that covers: brain biochemistry, nutrition, speech language therapy, physical medicine, addresses the cause of the stroke (typically hypertension and diabetes), and stroke prevention. Goals of the program are to help patients walk and talk again, as well as regain fine and gross motor movements, balance and coordination, and stabilize mood, and at the end of the day, re-gain their independence.

Therapies include naturopathic medicine, clinical nutrition, speech language therapy, physical medicine and physiatry and combines their efforts with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, all supervised by hyperbaric physicians and naturopathic doctors, to help the brain improve mitochondrial function and cellular respiration to regenerate neurons, restore functional integrity to dormant areas following a stroke, stabilize integrity of the phospholipid bilayer of all cells to improve their communication, as well as balancing neurotransmitters based on biochemistry and physiology of the brain and neuro-endocrine system.

This evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approach, is the only one of its kind in Canada. Patients come from all over Ontario to determine if they are a candidate and then proceed with the 4-month treatment in our state-of-the-art facility, operating out of Rouge Valley Hospital.

Research on HBOT Treatment for Stroke Recovery: