Peter Nagele, MD, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Ziskind-Somerfeld Research Award from the Society for Biological Psychiatry.
The award recognizes the most outstanding research article published during the past year in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Nagele’s award-winning paper detailed work investigating nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, as a treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don’t respond to standard therapies.
Working with co-investigator Charles R. Conway, MD, a professor of psychiatry, Nagele gave patients with depression a mixture of half nitrous oxide and half oxygen and found that after breathing the gas, 20 percent experienced an improvement in their symptoms within two hours and continued to feel better for at least 24 hours. Some 15 percent of patients in the study reported their symptoms had been eliminated.
Nagele is chief of trauma anesthesiology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The award was presented May 13 at the Society’s 71st Annual Scientific Convention and Program in Atlanta.