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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy to improve cognitive dysfunction and encephalatrophy induced by N2O for recreational use: a case report

Authors Luo D, Xu JJ, Hu L, Yu LM, Xie LL, Li J

Received 3 April 2018

Accepted for publication 29 May 2018

Published 3 August 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1963—1967


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Dan Luo,* Jiajun Xu,* Li Hu, Liangming Yu, Leling Xie, Jing Li

Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: N2O, or laughing gas, is generally used for anesthesia, especially in stomatology and pediatrics but is also commonly used recreationally. Cognitive dysfunction induced by the recreational use of N2O is rare. Here, we present the case of an 18-year-old female with a history of having used N2O recreationally for 5 months who suffered from encephalatrophy and severe cognitive dysfunction. All of the symptoms gradually subsided with ~20 days of treatment by hyperbaric oxygenation. We hypothesize that the long-term use of N2O may have induced a chronic state of systemic hypoxia that further induced cerebral atrophy with impaired cognitive function. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is reported here for the first time as an important therapeutic element for treating N2O toxicity due to recreational use.

Keywords: N2O, recreational use, cognitive dysfunction, encephalatrophy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy

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