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Braindamage due to lack of oxygen.

Michael A. G. Cohn enkidu at mail.utexas.edu
Mon Mar 29 13:16:14 EST 1999

I recall it was flefever at ix.netcom.com(F. Frank LeFever) who said:

>What some people inhale for recreational purposes is, I believe, NO2
>(not N2O), i.e. nitrous oxide.  I believe there has been some evidence
>published that suggestts long-term abuse of this gas may cause brain
>damage.  I believe tthe interpretation has been that this is due to
>hypoxia, but it occurs to me that the (as yet little studied) possible
>consequence of increased brain levels of NO (nitric oxide) might also
>play a role...

	Nitrous oxide is N2O. 

	It is also possible that the damage is a direct effect of
nitrous itself. Nitrous destroys vitamin B12, which in extreme cases
can lead to peripheral demyelination and consequent motor impairment.
I don't have any information on just how good it is at this, though,
or how effective pre- or post- dosage supplementation is at preventing
damage. Check out the abstract at

	As far as hypoxia goes, this is a problem for people doing
whippets out of balloons and the already-impaired who try to suck
right out of the tank (fortunately, the frostbite usually gets to them
first). It seems that a nitrous/oxygen mix should be safe, but this is
difficult to obtain outside a dentist's office. Chalk up another one
for prohibition.

	- Michael Cohn
enkidu at mail.utexas.edu
"Take a man out of a pestilential jungle where people he doesn't
 know are trying to kill him for reasons he doesn't understand 
 and. . . his need to shoot smack goes away."
     - Dan Baum, _Smoke and Mirrors_

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