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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Jul;115(7):859-62. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2013.04.004. Epub 2013 May 1.

Laughing gas abuse is no joke. An overview of the implications for psychiatric practice.

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Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, University Hospital Ghent, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Abuse of nitrous oxide--also known as laughing gas--can lead to a number of well-known neurological symptoms but also to less documented psychiatric symptoms. Studies show abuse prevalence rates ranging from 12% to 20% among youngsters and thereby classify nitrous oxide as one of the five most frequently used inhalants. Its abuse still remains unrecognized in psychiatric settings, however. Since treatment is straightforward, it is important to raise the awareness of clinicians with respect to typical signs and symptoms. This paper presents a case report and gives an overview of the existing literature on psychiatric symptoms and therapy.

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