More Evidence That Caffeine Can Jolt Memory

By Greenport · Jul 6, 2009 · ·
  1. Greenport
    Show_Me_the_Coffee_resize_.jpg More Evidence That Caffeine Can Jolt Memory[FONT=arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]
    , July 5 (HealthDay News)

    -- The growing evidence that caffeine consumption may help treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease has received an extra boost from two new studies.

    Florida researchers report that a daily dose of 500 milligrams of caffeine -- the equivalent found in five 8-ounce cups of coffee -- reversed memory issues in mice bred to develop Alzheimer-like symptoms. After two months on the stimulant, the mice rebounded to score just as well on memory tests as normal mice of the same age that had never exhibited signs of dementia.

    The studies, published in the July 5 online edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, also found that caffeine cut by half the mice's excessive blood and brain levels of beta amyloid, the protein linked to characteristic plaque found in human Alzheimer's disease.

    "The new findings provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease, and not simply a protective strategy," lead author Gary Arendash, a University of South Florida neuroscientist, said in a news release. "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."

    Past work at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in Tampa, where these studies were done, found that caffeine in early adulthood appeared to prevent memory problems from occurring in these specially bred mice, possibly because of the stimulant's ability to calm the brain inflammation that causes beta amyloid levels to rise.

    The research center also previously found that caffeine reduces beta amyloid levels in elderly people without dementia just as quickly as it does in the mice bred to have Alzheimer's symptoms.

    Studies to test whether caffeine can help people with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease are likely to follow, investigator Huntington Potter, director of the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, said in the news release.

    While consuming 500 milligrams of caffeine a day would not cause ill effects for most people, Arendash noted that people with high blood pressure or who are pregnant need to limit their caffeine intake. It is not known whether a smaller daily dose of caffeine would produce the same beneficial effects on the Alzheimer's mice.

    In the most recent experiments, the researchers also found that caffeine did not improve the memory of normal mice as it did for the Alzheimer's mice. "This suggests that caffeine will not increase memory performance above normal levels. Rather, it appears to benefit those destined to develop Alzheimer's disease," Arendash said.

    More information

    The Alzheimer's Association has more about Alzheimer's disease.

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  1. Potter
    That title is rather misleading, so is the last sentence.

    The drug in question doesn't effect the memory, in regards to it's effects on Alzheimer's, which it prevents because it reduces swelling, no swelling (normal brain) then it doesn't do anything (in that regard). I'm going to assume it works in all areas of the brain, preventing damage to motor control, sensory areas, and what ever other areas Alzheimer's effects.

    On the other hand caffeine DOES improve memory, may I direct you to my blog post detailing stimulants as study aids.

    I urge you all to remember, caffeine is the most commonly used drug on the planet "80-90% of adults and children report regular use of caffeine products" (page 404) Yet we have very little information here at DF. Help get a caffeine forum installed by posting reports, news, science, and recipes, and tagging them with the tag "Caffeine"!

  2. EscapeDummy
    WTF? Is this horrible science, or is there something I'm missing?

    "[FONT=arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1] Florida researchers report that a daily dose of 500 milligrams of caffeine -- the equivalent found in five 8-ounce cups of coffee -- reversed memory issues in mice bred to develop Alzheimer-like symptoms."

    [FONT=arial,helvetica][SIZE=-1]The hell? From what I'm reading, the average mouse weights about 3/4 of a pound - or .34kg. That would give a caffeine dose in the mice of 1470mg/kg... equivalent found in 14 8-ounce cups of coffee. Or EIGHTEEN red bulls.

    I don't think that's good for your brain - much less your kidneys, liver, or cardiovascular system. Please let me know if I'm missing something important, because this just sounds like a total bullshit article to me.
  3. Potter
    yeah, a mouse weighs 3/4th an ounce, and the number is FAR larger!

    a mouse weighs 20 grams, so that dose is aproximately 1/40th the weight of the mouse, when applied to a 150lb human, that would result in a dose around 3 pounds of caffeine daily!!! That's BAD! Ok, the shear quantity of substance hitting your stomach would wreck havoc with your anatomy, the heart attack should follow soon after, and by heart attack, I mean your heart literally shaking it self loose of the connecting vessels if not out right exploding.
  4. Gradient
    You're right; it's surprising, we don't have a strong discussion of caffeine around here. We do, however, have a fair number of articles on caffeine. I'd urge anyone interested in reading into the various effects of caffeine on health to do a search for files, video & audio under the term, 'caffeine'. There's a pretty hefty pile there with some really interesting info on both the drawbacks and advantages of caffeine ingestion.
  5. Greenport
    Hm, well that's the news for ya.

    Appreciate the additions thus far :) We 'really' do need to get more information on caffeine around here o_O; Why do we not have a caffeine section for that matter?! We should be ashamed of ourselves we all seem to have forgotten about the drug we use every single day!

    Time to make a request swiM supposes :)
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