Numerous studies have examined the potential use of therapeutic gases for the treatment of various neurological disorders. Hydrogen gas, a promising neuroprotective agent, has been a focus of study due to its potent antioxidative properties. In translational research into adult diseases, hydrogen has been shown to be neuroprotective in disorders such as cerebral ischemia and traumatic brain injury, and in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Animal and human studies have verified the safety and feasibility of molecular hydrogen. However, despite extensive research on its efficacy in adults, only a few studies have investigated its application in pediatric and neonatal medicine. Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is characterized by damage to neurons and other cells of the nervous system. One of the major contributing factors is excessive exposure to oxidative stress. Current research interest in HIE is shifting toward new neuroprotective agents, as single agents or as adjuncts to therapeutic hypothermia. Here, we review therapeutic gases, particularly hydrogen, and their potentials and limitations in the treatment of HIE in newborns. IMPACT: Translational animal models of neonatal HIE are a current focus of research into the therapeutic usefulness of various gases.Hydrogen ventilation as a single agent or in combination with therapeutic hypothermia shows short- and long-term neuroprotection in neonatal translational HIE models.The optimal target severity for therapeutic interventions should be well established to improve outcomes.

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