DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sodium valproate drug, molecular model. This drug, marketed under dozens of brand names worldwide including Depacon and Epilim, is the sodium salt of valproic acid. It is an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy, but can also be used in the treatment of bipolar disorder as a mood stabiliser. It increases the activity of the inhibitory GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, thus stabilising brain activity. This prevents the build-up of electrical signals that causes fits. Atoms in this model are represented by coloured spheres; carbon is turquoise, hydrogen is white, oxygen is yellow, and sodium is purple.
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