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Small study suggests unusual depression


Can Laughter Gas Treat Severe Depression? Researchers are beginning to ask this question, and the answer may look like a promising one. In a small study – only 24 people, of whom 96% were white and 70% were women -, nitrous oxide lifted the symptoms of treatment-resistant depression. A major trial is planned, reports Stat. Nitric oxide – nitrous oxide ̵
1; affects the same receptors as ketamine, which was approved in 2019 for depression that does not decrease with other drugs. Both work by blocking N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, reports New Scientist. When it was shown that the ketamine treatment worked, anesthesiologist Peter Nagele, one of the study’s authors, also wondered if nitrous oxide would do it.
What the study showed was that after spending an hour breathing in 50% laughing gas, most participants felt better. Some people experience headaches, nausea and other side effects of laughing gas, so the researchers also tried 25% of treatments, which seemed to work almost as well. The participants were their own control group, each receiving 50% and 25% treatment plus one oxygen and comparing the results for themselves per. NBC News. The small group generally reported that they felt much better, and the small study gives researchers something to work with to plan a larger trial.

(Read more scientific research stories.)

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