Caffeine reverses memory impairment in Alzheimer’s mice

By | July 6, 2009

Coffee drinkers may have another reason to pour that extra cup. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were given caffeine – the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day – their memory impairment was reversed, report University of South Florida researchers at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Back-to-back studies published online today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, show caffeine significantly decreased abnormal levels of the protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, both in the brains and in the blood of mice exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Both studies build upon previous research by the Florida ADRC group showing that caffeine in early adulthood prevented the onset of memory problems in mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms in old age.

“The new findings provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable ‘treatment’ for established Alzheimer’s disease, and not simply a protective strategy,” said lead author Gary Arendash, PhD, a USF neuroscientist with the Florida ADRC. “That’s important because caffeine is a safe drug for most people, it easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process.”

via Caffeine reverses memory impairment in Alzheimer’s mice.

If you don’t like coffee, you could try chocolate or tea:

Usually, the highest caffeine measurement for an ounce of chocolate is 10 milligrams. One can compare this to coffee to see that this is a relatively minuscule amount. The average cup of coffee contains about ten to fifteen times the amount of caffeine in one ounce of chocolate. Usually coffee contains between 100-150 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup. This may vary slightly according to brand and roast style.

The caffeine in tea also can be compared to caffeine in chocolate. Green tea is much lower in caffeine than coffee, containing between 15-40 milligrams per eight-ounce cup. Black tea has an average of 50 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Both green and black tea will have a higher caffeine rating depending upon amount of tea used and brewing time. – wisegeek

There are reasons, however, to avoid caffeine:

Most a.m. coffee drinkers don’t realize it, but their morning cups of coffee set their bodies up for a rollercoaster day of highs and lows, only to bottom out at the point of exhaustion. Just a few hours after consumption, when the artificial high dies down, many people may reach for more coffee or something sugary to get another lift, leading to daily fluctuations in energy and alertness, and possibly to eventual chronic adrenal exhaustion.  –naturalnews

Caffeine does more than give you a little jolt of energy, according to ABC online, caffeine is a strong diuretic. It makes the consumer urinate more because the flow is increased through the kidneys. Caffeine also has an effect on mental abilities. A study done on three groups of people, revealed that the group that was given high doses of caffeine did not perform well on verbal reasoning tasks. – ap

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