Caffeine, an alkaloid present in coffee and yerba mate, is well known as a central nervous system stimulant, which increases attention and alertness, and often provides a temporary mood elevation through the release of endorphins.In the current study, from the Universities of Miami and South Florida, researchers followed 124 patients aged 65 to 88 years over a four-year study period. They serially measured the cognitive abilities and caffeine levels in the bloodstream of each participant.
Their results showed that in subjects who had mild cognitive impairment and in whom Alzheimer’s dementia developed during the four years had initial blood caffeine levels 51% lower than in those who had mild impairment, but did not go on to develop dementia. In addition, no patient in this high consumption group who consumed three cups of coffee per day (450 ml), developed Alzheimer’s during the study period.
Cognitive impairment is one of the most important features of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. “Mild cognitive impairment” is an intermediate term for people between the mental performance of normal aging and dementia, which is a marked decrease in mental function and impaired memory, thinking, learning capacity and judgment.
Dr. Cao Chuanhai, study coordinator, said that the protective effect of caffeine was effective especially in older individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Typically, about 15% of persons with mild impairment eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Cao said that caffeine does not completely eliminate the risk that a person develop Alzheimer’s, but it can help reduce the odds or delay the onset of disease. He believes that a moderate intake of coffee (3-4 cups), is a great option for preventing Alzheimer’s, and is cheap, readily available, easily reaches the brain, and has few side effects for most people.
Other studies already published here in ProcuraMed, showed that physical activity, musical training, bilingualism, and the consumption of omega 3 and vitamins B, C, D, E, are related to better brain health.
The medical specialty dealing with the nervous system is neurology, and if you need to find one, you can do that easily on our site: www.procuramed.com. It’s easy, fast, and without cost!
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