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You Won't Forget To Drink Coffee

 

Updated : Jul 6, 2009

A few cups of coffee a day may be all that is needed to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.

Scientists have uncovered powerful evidence that caffeine not only helps to stave off the disease but can treat it.

They hope soon to follow up the initial results from animal experiments with human patient trials.

US neuroscientist Dr Gary Arendash, who led the research, said: “The new findings provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable ‘treatment’ for established Alzheimer’s disease, and not simply a protective strategy.

“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.”

A key aspect of Alzheimer’s is sticky clumps of abnormal protein in the brain called beta amyloid plaques.

Mice with a rodent equivalent of the disease showed a 50pc reduction in levels of amyloid protein in their brains after scientists spiked their drinking water with caffeine.

The change was reflected in their behaviour as the mice developed better memories and quicker thinking.

Dr Arendash’s team studied 55 mice genetically engineered to develop dementia symptoms identical to those of Alzheimer’s as they aged.

At the age of 18 to 19 months - around 70 in human years – the mice were showing signs of memory impairment.

The researchers then gave half the mice drinking water containing caffeine while the other half continued to drink ordinary water.

Humans receiving an equivalent dose for their body weight would be consuming 500 milligrams of caffeine – or five eight-ounce cups of ordinary coffee – a day. The same amount of caffeine can be obtained by drinking two cups of strong “coffee shop” coffee, 14 cups of tea, or 20 cola drinks.

At the end of the two-month study, the caffeine-drinking mice performed far better on tests of memory and thinking than mice given “straight” water. Their memories were as sharp as those of healthy older mice without dementia.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

VeryHappyPig isn’t a coffee drinker, but is addicted to sharing good news and this certainly is good news for the coffee drinkers of Ireland.

 

 

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