We've already seen some examples of how R(+)-Lipoic Acid can protect nerve cells from free radicals and toxins, even in cases where the racemate - or the S(-)-form alone - cannot. In animal studies,lipoic acid has also been shown to protect rodents from a variety of toxins, from amphetamines 43 to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin 44 and excitotoxic amino acids like aspartate. 45 Furthermore, lipoic acid improves an animal's chance of survival, and prevents much of the loss of brain function, after a simulated "stroke" (created by blocking off the arteries which supply the animals' nerve cells with oxygen and then letting oxygen flood back in), 45 and prevents age-associated reductions in long-term potentiation, the mechanism whereby the brain moves short-term memories into long-term storage.
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