Researchers find protein linked to the treatment of both epilepsy and bipolar disorder

A team of researchers from the Royal Holloway have found that one particular protein which was known to be implicated in both epilepsy and bipolar disorder seems to be the key linking the treatment of both disorders.

Sodium valproate which is associated with an increased chance of birth defects if taken during pregnancy, is used in the treatment of both bipolar disorder and epilepsy and works on this protein. These new findings pave the way for the development of new drugs which target this same protein but do not have the potentially serious side effects of sodium valproate.

As Professor Robin Williams says: “Now that we understand how valproic acid works, we have been able to design potential new drugs that would be effective in treating both conditions, without causing birth defects.”

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