A drug commonly used to control epilepsy could soon have a new role as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Researchers have found that sodium valproate, marketed in Britain as Epilim, stimulates the body's natural defences against the disease.They found that the drug boosted production of an enzyme which prevents the build-up of proteins in brain cells. These accumulations, or plaques, of protein have been shown by researchers to trigger the onset of Alzheimer's.Crucially, valproate has already been passed by Britain's stringent drug safety watchdog as an epilepsy drug, and could be brought into widespread use fairly rapidly if research results are confirmed, scientists told The Observer.'We are still in the early days of our work, but are very excited about the potential of valproate,' said the team leader, Professor Tony Turner, of Leeds University's Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology.Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is a devastating...
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