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Popular Epilepsy Drug Shows Promise For Alzheimer's Disease

Valproic acid, used in the treatment of epilepsy and other neurological and psycho-neurological disorders, has been found to improve memory and reduce brain lesions in mice with Alzheimer's symptoms.

The study, conducted by the University of British Colombia, injected Valproic acid in mice whose disease was about 6 months old. After administration of the acid, the researchers measured aspects of brain improvement, including memory ability and physiological changes in the brain.

Valproic acid attacks Beta-amyloid proteins, at toxic levels in an Alzheimer's brain. The researchers observed that the treatment shrank brain plaques and even encouraged nerves to repair themselves. The mice also performed better on memory-related tests.

The effect of Valproic acid on the mice was less effective as the disease progressed, suggesting that human studies be conducted with persons at the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. However, study is considered strong evidence of Volproic acid as a treatment and a prevention for Alzheimer's disease.

Source:Journal of Experimental Medicine; via eScience News

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Comments
Oct 27, 2008
by Anonymous

strong side effects

depakote (valproic acid) has strong side effects though, including possible liver failure. my mother takes it for epilepsy and she's constantly drowsy. the extended release version works better though. there are also reports of leukopenia (low white blood count) which can be critical, due to valproic acid consumption.