Nitrous Oxide

I noticed with interest the news this week about children and others risking damage to the myelin sheath by inhaling nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’). From research over the last few years that I had read, indicating a correlation between having tonsils and / or appendix removed in youth and developing MS later in life, the penny dropped, at least for my thinking. My hunch had been that this reported correlation might implicate general anaesthetic but it had not struck me that we might be talking about gas not injection. I do not have MS but my brother, ten years my senior had it for some 35 years and died a couple of years ago. He had had his tonsils and appendix removed as a child, and around that time, having teeth extracted was usually done with nitrous oxide sedation, so was probably also used for other surgery. My thinking has then gone on to the widespread use during childbirth of “gas and air” also known as Entonox, the gas being nitrous oxide. Might this be a clue as to why there is a higher incidence of MS among women? Before starting this thread, I used ‘nitrous oxide’ as a search term in Research on this web site and nothing was found. As I type this, a window has popped up, drawing attention to a thread “MS & surgery risk research” in Everyday Living and a post in May '13 about the research about increased risk with childhood surgery. I have posted here, as this is my first post to this forum and do not know where else to post it.

I had gas for a tooth removal when I was about 6 years old but that was the standard anaesthetic for tooth removal in those days - and in those days (early 1960s) there were a lot of tooth removals ( days in which dentists would remove rather than try and save)