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Laughing Gas Can Relieve Resistant Depression Symptoms

The Department of Anesthesiology congratulates Ben Palanca, MD, PhD, MSc, who also was involved heavily in the research featured in the Record article below. The findings were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on June 9, 2021.  

Ben Palanca

While the Record coverage focuses on Drs. Peter Nagele and Charles Conway who conceptualized the study, successfully secured funding, and led the dissemination of our findings, Dr. Palanca  took over the project and human studies administration when Nagele departed from WU, and Palanca also served as a key member of the investigative team. The findings cap off years of and clinical investigations at the School of Medicine, exploring the use of nitrous oxide as a novel treatment for depression.

Palanca’s role in the investigation also involved the coordination of WUDA faculty (including Drs. Wayland Cheng, Helga Komen, and Branden Yee), CRNAs, and DoCTR staff to ensure that the intervention and control sessions were administered with rigor. He is planning additional investigations to probe underlying circuit mechanisms.

For more details on the research and findings, please read the full article in the Record.