A recent study evaluated nitrous oxide as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression. Which of the following effects did investigators find?

Major depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders. As many as one-third of patients with major depression have treatment-resistant depression (TRD), meaning they have failed to respond to multiple treatments of standard antidepressant medication.

Recently, ketamine has been utilized as a therapeutic agent for patients with TRD. Patients appear to achieve sustained response to intermittent dosing. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health is currently conducting a dose-finding trial with ketamine (https://clinicaltrials.gov, Identifier NCT01920555). The purported mechanism of action of ketamine for the treatment of TRD is antagonism of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor.

A group of investigators hypothesized that nitrous oxide, which also has significant NMDA antagonist properties, could have an...

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