‘Laughing Gas’ May Help Tough-to-Treat Depression

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Sumary of ‘Laughing Gas’ May Help Tough-to-Treat Depression:

  • By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, June 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — When antidepressants fail to rein in hard-to-treat depression, the common anesthetic most know as “laughing gas”.
  • But following three one-hour laughing gas inhalation sessions spread across three months, 85% of patients had significant depression relief that endured weeks post-treatment..
  • “And we found that laughing gas, at a much lower concentration than is used, for instance, during dental procedures, can help patients with difficult-to-treat depression,”.
  • And patients exposed to the higher dose commonly experienced side effects, including nausea, sedation and or “mild dissociation,”.
  • About one-third were exposed to three sessions of 50% nitrous oxide inhalation treatment, one-third were given a 25% nitrous oxide inhalation treatment and one-third were given an oxygen inhalation treatment that contained no laughing gas..
  • After four patients withdrew from the study, results were drawn from 20 patients who completed all three inhalation sessions and four patients who completed at least one treatment..
  • Perhaps just as importantly, the team also found that “using a lower concentration of nitrous oxide also reduced the risk of side effects fourfold.”.
  • “The mechanism of how nitrous oxide exerts antidepressant effects is unknown, and is likely different from how it induces sedation and unconsciousness and also pain relief,”…

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