Posted on May 31, 2010, 6 a.m.
Research suggests that caffeine preserves and restores cognitive function.
A review of epidemiological studies and research in animal models has led scientists to conclude that caffeine could be used to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease. Gary W Arendash and Chuanhai Cao studied the effects of caffeine on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Results showed that mice given caffeine in their drinking water from young adulthood into old age suffered less memory impairment and had lower brain levels of amyloid-?, the abnormal protein that is thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Further studies revealed that just 1-2 months of treatment with caffeine restored memory and reduced brain levels of amyloid-? in "aged" cognitively impaired mice. The authors concluded: "These results indicate a surprising ability of moderate caffeine intake (the human equivalent of 500 mg caffeine or 5 cups of coffee per day) to protect against or treat Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model for the disease and a therapeutic potential for caffeine against Alzheimer's disease in humans."
Gary W Arendash, Chuanhai Cao. Caffeine and Coffee as Therapeutics Against Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2010;20:S117–S126.