Action mechanisms of sodium valproate

G. Avanzini, S. Franceschetti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sodium valproate (VPA) is thought to counteract cell hyperexcitability either by enhancing the GABA-mediated inhibition or by affecting voltage dependent membrane ionic currents. Relevant to the first hypothesis are: 1) the demonstration of an inhibitory effect of VPA on the catabolic enzyme GABA-transaminase leading to an increase of the presynaptic pool of GABA; 2) the evidence of a potentiation of the postsynaptic action of GABA. The second hypothesis is supported by a VPA-induced reduction of Na+ (and Ca++) inward currents with a reciprocal enhancement of Ca++ dependent K+ outward currents. The actual correspondence of the active concentration in experimental and clinical studies make difficult at present to define the ultimate action mechanism accounting for the well established antiepileptic effect of VPA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBollettino - Lega Italiana contro l'Epilessia
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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