July 05, 2009
Coffee Could Reverse Alzheimer's Disease?

5 cups a day to keep you from losing your mind? "Coffee and tea, java and me, a cup a cup a cup a cup a cup". (maybe whoever wrote that song knew something - note the repetition 5 times!)

Tampa, FL (July 5, 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."

This makes me hear music:

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 July 05 11:48 PM  Aging Diet Brain Studies

Engineer-Poet said at July 6, 2009 2:05 PM:

All I want is a proper cuppa coffee, poured from a proper copper coffeepot.
I might be off my dot but I want a cuppa coffee from a copper coffee pot.
Iron coffee pots and tin coffee pots, oh they're no use to me
If I can't have a proper cuppa coffee from a proper copper coffeepot I'll have a cuppa tea.

Shannon Love said at July 6, 2009 5:26 PM:

To bad it is still a common recommendation that older people with heart problems, which is almost all of them, should avoid caffeine. Such advance comes from cardiologist who pay little attention to neurological effects. It's a big problem with the degree of specialization needed in modern medicine. Specialist have trouble treating the entire patient.

Fat Man said at July 6, 2009 7:42 PM:

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.


no said at July 7, 2009 7:36 AM:

On the subject of rejuvenation, what do you make of this claim to cure/prevent age-related macular degeneration by stimulating an enzyme that helps to clean the eye:

Lou Pagnucco said at July 7, 2009 9:00 AM:

For those who do not have cardiac, blood pressure or other issues with caffeine, drinking a few cups a day may be beneficial. Several other studies seem to confirm this one - especially for women

"Three Cups a Day Could Lessen Dementia"

"Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of Late-Life Dementia: A Population-Based CAIDE Study"

"Caffeine May Keep Dementia At Bay In Women"

- but the some studies are conflicting
"The neuroprotective effects of caffeine"

Extremely speculative, but maybe there is a connection with caffeine's antagonism toward mTOR
"Mammalian target of rapamycin"

- or caffeine's ability to reduce tumor necrosis factor-alpha
"Caffeine suppresses TNF-alpha production via activation of the cyclic AMP/protein kinase A pathway"

Kane said at July 8, 2009 5:23 AM:


I have read that mixing milk or cream in one's tea neutralizes the tea's health benefits; does anyone know if this holds true to coffee, as well?

Wayne Conrad said at July 10, 2009 7:35 AM:

Kane, I recall that tea contains tannin, something not necessarily good for your gastric lining; milk or cream bind with tannin and neutralize it. Since this blog entry references caffeine as being beneficial, and to my knowledge milk or cream does not affect caffeine, adding milk or cream to tea should not neutralize any benefit there is from caffeine. I do not know if there is any tannin in coffee, but again, milk or coffee should not, to my knowledge, affect caffeine, so if it's caffeine doing the good in coffee, don't worry about milk or cream neutralizing it.

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