Popping my GO! Smell the coffee posting cherry with some recent science findings on the potential protective properties of caffeine against developing Alzheimer’s. Here’s my contributors badge so you know who I am:
Caffeine has been previously associated with improved reactions & memory & IQ tests, & in males has been suggested to confer neuro-protective properties against Parkinson’s. It also has pretty freaky effects on spiders’ web construction (disclaimer: some arcahnids may have been temporarily affected in collection of the following pictures)
In a recent paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ: Arendash GW, Mori T, Cao C, et al. Caffeine reverses cognitive impairment and decreases brain amyloid-beta levels in aged Alzheimer’s disease mice. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Published online 6 July 2009) there is evidence that caffeine may also be neuro-protective against Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it is still very early days & there a number of caveats that scientists need to address. The report & potential pit-falls of the data are summarised well here. Key amongst the caveats are that this study has been only shown in an animal model (mice) so it is still to be determined whether it will follow in humans.
Quoting the summary…….
What do we know already?
Long-term studies have shown that people who regularly drink two to three cups of coffee daily seem less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. But with these types of studies, it’s hard to single out one particular cause. For example, older people who regularly attend coffee mornings probably drink more coffee, but they are also probably less socially isolated, and get out of the house more. Any of these things could affect how well your memory works in later life.