Nitrous oxide is the anesthia that is used for anesthesia. Nitric oxide is a
related compound. Some nitrous oxide is changed to nitric oxide in the brain
and other places. However, this reaction is a byproduct of having nitrous
oxide in the blood stream, not a mechanism of action.
Nitric oxide is a natural produced chemical that has many uses. It is used
in the brain as a messager that goes from cell to cell. It plays a role in
may processes, including development in the brain. It plays an important
role in blood pressure regulation. Nitric oxide, before it was discovered
was known as platel-derived relaxing factor. As this implies, it causes
blood vessel muscle cells to relax and reduces blood pressure. Not only is
this the natural way it works, but many chemicals, such as nitroglycerin and
nitroprusside work by releasing nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is involved the
function of Viagra, a drug that used to cause penile erections, so older men
can get it up.
F. Frank LeFever wrote in message <7e9b4i$n59 at sjx-ixn6.ix.netcom.com>...
>>>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
>>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???