Oxidative stress caused by sodium valproate (SV) is known to play a key role in the pathogenesis of brain tissue. The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effect of L-cysteine (LC) on the antioxidants of brain tissue of rats. The animals were divided into six groups: control group 1 was treated with saline as vehicle, groups 2 and 3 were treated with low and high doses of SV (100 and 500 mg/kg, respectively), group 4 was treated with LC (100 mg/kg), and groups 5 and 6 were treated with low-dose SV + LC and high-dose SV + LC, respectively. All the groups were treated orally by gastric tube for 30 successive days. Some antioxidant parameters were determined. Brain tissue (cerebral cortex) of SV-treated animals showed an increase in lipid peroxidation (LPO) and reduction in activity of enzymatic antioxidant and total antioxidant levels. Histopathological examination of cerebral cortex of SV rats showed astrocytic swelling, inflammation, and necrosis. After 4 weeks of the combination treatment of SV and LC daily, results showed significant improvement in the activity of cathepsin marker enzymes and restored the structure of the brain. LC was able to ameliorate oxidative stress deficits observed in SV rats. LC decreased LPO level and was also able to restore the activity of antioxidant enzymes as well as structural deficits observed in the brain of SV animals. The protective effect of LC in SV-treated rats is mediated through attenuation of oxidative stress, suggesting a therapeutic role for LC in individuals treated with SV.