Laughing gas has been used to dull pain in dental offices and maternity units for more than a century, and researchers now think the gas, called nitrous oxide, may effectively treat depression when other therapies have failed, according to the results of a small phase 2 clinical trial, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine... nbcnews.com, Laughing gas shows promise for treatment-resistant depression, small trial finds, Kaitlin Sullivan, 2021

Up to 30 percent of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder don’t respond to typical treatments, leaving a significant proportion of patients in need of new treatment options.

“The ketamine discovery is considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in depression research in 50 years,” said a co-lead author of the new study, Dr. Peter Nagele, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience and chair of anesthesia and critical care at the University of Chicago.

Nitrous oxide is thought to work in the same way as ketamine, Nagele said.

 

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