UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 6, 2009

CAFFEINE FOUND TO STAVE OFF - AND TREAT - ALZHEIMER'S

Independent, UK- Scientists have uncovered powerful evidence that caffeine not only helps to stave off Alzheimer's but can treat it

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

They plan to follow up the initial results from animal experiments with human patient trials. Leading researcher, the US neuroscientist Gary Arendash 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.". . .

Dr Arendash's team, from the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre in Tampa, studied 55 mice, genetically engineered to develop dementia symptoms identical to those of Alzheimer's. At the age of 18 to 19 months, about 70 in human years, the mice were showing signs of memory impairment. The researchers then gave half the mice water containing caffeine while the other half continued to drink ordinary water.

Humans receiving an equivalent dose for their body weight would be consuming two cups of strong "coffee shop" coffee, 14 cups of tea, or 20 cola drinks a day.

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. Almost half the abnormal protein previously seen when the brains of Alzheimer's mice were examined had vanished after two months. The study was published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

2 Comments:

Anonymous robbie said...

Someone made the point that there should be a statistical correlation between this study and places where the population doesn't drink coffee or ingest caffeine. The Mormons don't drink coffee, if I am not mistaken. Is there an Alzheimer's spike there?

July 6, 2009 5:23 PM  
Blogger AgustinG said...

Maybe it only works for mice.

Given the amount of coffee Americans drink, one would expect low incidences of Alzheimer's in America, but the opposite is true.

Incidentally, my mother drank lots of coffee. She just passed away from complications from Alzheimer's.

July 7, 2009 8:09 PM  

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