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Published: June 10, 2021

Study finds breathing in laughing gas can help reduce depression symptoms

A new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis found that the effects of inhaling nitrous oxide gas, which is better known as laughing gas, can help reduce the symptoms of depression.

The study was published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

According to the study, researchers found that a single, one-hour inhalation treatment with 25% nitrous oxide could relieve symptoms of treatment-resistant major depression (TRMD) rapidly.

Twenty-four participants with TRMD were assigned into three treatment groups where they inhaled 50% nitrous oxide, 25% nitrous oxide, or a placebo for a single 1-hour session for three months.

Researchers found that for those who inhaled only half the concentration of nitrous oxide, the treatment was nearly as effective as 50% nitrous oxide.

According to Washington University, researchers said 17 of the participants had improved and eight of them were no longer considered clinically depressed.

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