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A study finds a positive impact of laughing gas in treating depression

laughing gas

A study of a small clinical trial published in Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday found that laughing gas could be used for individuals with hard-to-treat depression. According to the study, a dose of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) reduced the symptoms of depression in individuals afterward. People experiencing depression symptoms reported improvement in their symptoms after inhaling laughing gas.

The study further observed that a small dose of Nitrous oxide showed similar improvements in people suffering from depression with fewer side effects. Nitrous Oxide, known as laughing gas in common language is a non-flammable colorless gas at room temperature which has been used as an anaesthetic in the history of medical practice.

However, a few years ago researcher Peter Nagele, an anesthesiologist at the University of Chicago along with his colleagues started research on using Nitrous Oxide as a potential treatment for depression.

The early study of this group of researchers found that inhaling 50% concentrated nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen for an hour could work as an antidepressant in people with hard-to-treat depression.

Phase II of this study was performed where the group tried different doses of a potential drug to figure out its efficiency and safety. According to the latest study published in Science Translational Medicine noted that the group of people who inhaled smaller doses of Nitrous oxide felt similar effects with fewer side effects.

While the study is performed on a small sample size, there is more to be observed to know more about the effects of Nitrous oxide as a potential antidepressant. However, the previous research done by Nagele suggests that Nitrous oxide may induce significant recovery in people who haven’t responded to other treatments related to depression.



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