Cognitive Enhancement, Valproate and Schizophrenia

I wonder if this drug would be helpful in people who have schizophrenia and who have cognitive problems - seems like an area people should research:

The Limitless Drug: What If It Were Possible to Learn Any New Skill as If We Were Children?

You’ve heard to start studying foreign languages (and music and reading and memorization skills and more) at a young age, when your brain is better prepared to retain that information. New research suggests a drug typically used to combat epilepsy and bipolar disorder could help us retain that skill even as we age.

Read the full story:

Here is the research study:


Depakote? That’s interesting, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it being a cognitive enhancer. I take Provigil, another drug many class as a cognitive enhancer. I haven’t noticed much of an enhancement and I think claims of its effects may be a bit exaggerated but maybe I just haven’t paid much attention.

If my mood starts fluctuating and I become in need of a mood stabilizer again then I’ll definitely ask the doctor for some Depakote.

Interesting. I think that I share an experience with many people on this board in that my psychiatrist has told me that that she is sure the initial diagnosis of schizophrenia was wrong, and I may be schizoaffective, or maybe something else that I guess is considered less ‘severe.’ Schizoaffective is sometimes seen as a sort of cross between Bipolar and Schizophrenia, and I’ve read a rumor on Wikipedia that Valproate is subscribed off-label for maintenance of Bipolar.

Sooooo… Maybe I’ll ask my psychiatrist some time about the possibility of Valproate some day.

I’m not sure that I want to re-wire my brain that much at this stage in my life though. I kind of like much of my wiring the way it was done in my childhood. Many of the online articles on the subject make the same point: We seem to have evolved to slow down neuro-plasticity as we age for a reason. But, who knows. Maybe that reason may not apply as much in modern life.

More news stories on this interesting topic. I’ve contacted some of the schizophrenia researchers to suggest that they do some trials of this drug in people who are recovering from schizophrenia.

Also - tangentially related to this is this different news story:

"Plasticity Pill" Could Rewire Brain to Treat Autism and Schizophrenia
Super-mice bred to lack certain immune molecules display a superior ability to form new neural connections, or strengthen existing ones — and they could serve as a model for reversing brain disease.