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Braindamage due to lack of oxygen.

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sun Apr 4 22:36:50 EST 1999

As a kid (early teens? younger?) I used to hyperventilate and then hold
my breath to see how long as I could hold it.  I believe 2.5 minutes as
the limit.

re "nitrous oxide" and brain function: I believe you mean NITRIC oxide.
 Earlier in this discussion, I showed my ignorance of chemistry by
representing nitrous oxide as "NO2", in contrast to nitric oxide, which
is NO.  I was right about NO, wrong about "NO2": should be N20.

I also raised the question as to whether some N20 effects might be due
to production of NO, but a very quick lit search found a few articles
dealing with NO being reduced to N20, none with the reverse
process--but I could SWEAR I saw an article ascribing N20 effects to
production of NO, probably earlier than search period (I used OVID

Any biochemists out there???

F. LeFever

In <7e88qe$n64$1 at news1.epix.net> "news.epix.net" <utz at pilot.msu.edu>
>I would doubt brain damagae occurs in this situation. Your reserves of
O2 in
>your blood would last for 1 or 2 minutes. I think that you would
>unconscious beforre any brain damage occurs, and begin breathing while
>are unconscious. It is not unusual for little kids to have breath
>spells lasting a minute or two and turning blue (Kids and adults, do
not try
>this at home.) For the same reason, I doubt that inhaling nitrous
>would cause damage through hypoxia.
>However, there are other ways nitrous oxide could damage brain cells.
>Nitrous oxide is involved in brain function, and I have little doubt
>much can cause damage. i do recommend that you do not use this
>recreationally. And if you become somewhat disoriented, there is no
>guarentee that you respiratory centers will kick back in and you will
>continue to breath.
>The brain is damaged by lack of oxygen (called hypoxia), through
>mechanisms. Many of these involve too much calcium, which leaks into
>cell. Because there is no oxygen, the brain cells cannot make energy
>Then the calium that normally comes into the cells cannot be pumped
>This is real bad.
>Too much calcium kills mitocondria, called the powerhouses of the
cells. No
>energy, no life. Another way calcium is able to kill cells is it
>something called programmed cell death (also called apotosis). This
>otherwise healthy cells to give up and go quietly.
>Together, basically, hypoxia causes brain cells to die. Because of 
the high
>needs of the brain for oxygen and energy, the brain cells are really
>sensitive to a lack of oxygen, and give up quickly, compared to say,
>intestinal cells or muscle cells.
>Neogen wrote in message <36fd1aee.4153210 at nntpserver.swip.net>...
>>I'm wondering about for how long the brain can go w/o oxygen, before
>>braindamage occurs? (And also, how the damage occurs..)
>>For example, if I breathe out as much air as possible, in less than
>>seconds I will feel the need to inhale. Does this mean that if I
could go
>>longer w/o inhaling, something ..bad would happend?
>>I've read reports of people inhaling pure N2O (as opposed to the
>>70% mix, or whatever amount it is :) and holding it in for minutes,
>>this mean that some sort of damage occurs?

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