Researchers have found that a common anticonvulsant drug improved cognitive function and appeared to restore nerve cells in the brains of patients with HIV-related dementia. The results of the Phase I clinical trial were published in the scientific journal Neurology.
The study involved 22 patients with HIV-related dementia, 16 with cognitive impairment, six without. Patients were randomized to receive either 250 milligrams of valproic acid, or placebo, twice daily. Valproic acid is commonly used to prevent seizures in epilepsy patients.