Laughing Gas May Treat Depression

Jun, 2021 - By SMI

Laughing Gas May Treat Depression

Approximately 15% of persons with depression do not respond to traditional antidepressant medication, despite its reputation as "laughing gas," people who get such a tiny dose fall asleep.

The findings were also found to continue far longer than previously thought, with some individuals reporting improvements for up to two weeks, according to the study, which was published on June 9 in Science Translational Medicine. A study from the University of Chicago Medicine and Washington University tracked down that 25% nitrous oxide inhalation session was effective as 50% nitrous oxide at rapidly resolving symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, with less adverse results.

These findings add to the growing body of data suggesting non-traditional therapy may be a viable choice for patients whose depression is resistant to conventional antidepressants. It could potentially be a quick and effective therapy alternative for those in need. Therefore, nitrous oxide, also known as "laughing gas," is a common anaesthetic used in dentistry and surgery to give short-term pain relief.

The researchers inspected the effects of a one-hour inhalation session with 50% nitrous oxide gas in 20% in a previous trial, finding that it resulted in fast improvements in patients depression symptoms that lasted for at least 24 hours when compared to placebo. Several individuals, however, reported significant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

Therefore in the new study, the specialists rehashed a comparable convention with 20 patients, this time adding an extra inward breath meeting with 25% nitrous oxide. They tracked down that even with just a large portion of the grouping of nitrous oxide, the treatment was close to as viable as half nitrous oxide, however this time with only one fourth of the negative results.

Furthermore, the researchers looked at patients' clinical depression scores after therapy for a longer period of time; whereas the previous study only looked at depression symptoms for the first 24 hours following therapy, this current study looked at patients' clinical depression scores for two weeks. Therefore, it is still difficult to have non-traditional depression medicines acknowledged in the mainstream, researchers hope that these findings, together with those from previous studies, would persuade sceptical physicians to consider the unique features of these medications.

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