Time course of mental and psychomotor effects of 30 per cent nitrous oxide during inhalation and recovery

K. Korttila, M. M. Ghoneim, L. Jacobs, S. P. Mewaldt, Ronald Carl Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted testing the duration of action of nitrous oxide on human performance. In the first experiment, 11 subjects inhaled 30 per cent nitrous oxide for two periods of 40 min each, 45 min apart. Their mental and psychomotor skills were measured using free recall, tapping board, arithmetic and flicker fusion tests before and 2, 12, 22 and 32 min after establishing an end-tidal concentration of N 2O of 30 per cent. Recovery was tested using the same tests 2, 12, 22 and 32 min after discontinuation of N 2O. Eleven additional subjects inhaled oxygen only and served as a control group. In the second experiment, 8 subjects received both 30 per cent N 2O and oxygen in crossover fashion, and their flicker fusion threshold was measured. When compared to baseline or oxygen administration, N 2O significantly impaired tapping rate, number of words recalled, and performance in arithmetic tests. The effects of N 2O were maximal at 2 min and remained similar throughout the entire administration. In flicker fusion tests, the effects of N 2O were similar to those of stimulant drugs; N 2O improved the subjects' ability to discriminate the fusion of flickering light. Recovery was complete in 22 min. The effects of, and recovery from the second administration of N 2O were similar to those of the first experiment. There was no evidence of development of tolerance to mental and psychomotor effects of the drug.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesiology
Volume54
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Flicker Fusion
Nitrous Oxide
Inhalation
Oxygen
Aptitude
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Light
Control Groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this

Time course of mental and psychomotor effects of 30 per cent nitrous oxide during inhalation and recovery. / Korttila, K.; Ghoneim, M. M.; Jacobs, L.; Mewaldt, S. P.; Petersen, Ronald Carl.

In: Anesthesiology, Vol. 54, No. 3, 1981, p. 220-226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Korttila, K. ; Ghoneim, M. M. ; Jacobs, L. ; Mewaldt, S. P. ; Petersen, Ronald Carl. / Time course of mental and psychomotor effects of 30 per cent nitrous oxide during inhalation and recovery. In: Anesthesiology. 1981 ; Vol. 54, No. 3. pp. 220-226.
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