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Another Cup of Coffee, Please

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0b013e3181ed8221
  • Free

A special supplement of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease focuses on several epidemiological studies and research in animal models suggesting that caffeine may be protective against the decline in cognitive function seen in both dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). A group of international experts present information that explores the effects caffeine has on the brain ranging from molecular targets of caffeine to the proposed mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective activity of caffeine.

Key findings discussed in the journal supplement related to caffeine and cognitive functions include

  • multiple effects of caffeine to normalize brain function and prevent degeneration
  • caffeine's ability to reduce amyloid-β production,
  • caffeine as a potential disease-modifying agent in AD,
  • positive impact of caffeine on cognition and memory performance,
  • identification of specific adenosine A2A receptors as the main target for neuroprotective effects of caffeine,
  • confirmation of data through meta-analyses,
  • epidemiological studies supported by meta-analyses that suggest caffeine may be protective against Parkinson's disease, and
  • need to solve methodological issues before implementing clinical trials.1

The editors of the issue note that caffeine might normalize moods in persons with AD. Additionally, improvement in daily living is presented as a more significant indicator of the positive effects of caffeine than objective measures of memory performance. The entire issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease is available free of charge at http://iospress.metapress.com/content/t13614762731/.

Note that clinical trials to clarify how much caffeine is needed to get positive results, in what stages of cognitive decline would caffeine be most effective, and long-term effects of supplemental doses of caffeine still need to be carried out. Meanwhile, have another cup of coffee and strike it up to prevention of cognitive decline!

Submitted by: Robin Pattillo, PhD, RN, News Editor at NENewsEditor@gmail.com.

Reference

1. Cunha R, Mednonca A. Therapeutic opportunities for caffeine in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20(suppl 1). Available at http://iospress.metapress.com/content/t13614762731/. Accessed May 23, 2010.
© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.