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Caffeine reverses memory impairment in Alzheimer's mice
Date:7/5/2009

vestigators indicate that caffeine appears to restore memory by reducing both enzymes needed to produce beta amyloid. The researchers also suggest that caffeine suppresses inflammatory changes in the brain that lead to an overabundance of beta amyloid.

Since caffeine improved the memory of mice with pre-existing Alzheimer's, the researchers were curious to know if it might further boost the memory of non-demented (normal) mice administered caffeine from young adulthood through old age. It did not. Control mice given regular drinking water throughout their lives performed as well on behavioral tests in old age as normal mice who received long-term caffeine treatment, Arendash said. "This suggests that caffeine will not increase memory performance above normal levels. Rather, it appears to benefit those destined to develop Alzheimer's disease."

The researchers do not know if an amount lower than the 500 mg. daily caffeine intake received by the Alzheimer's mice would be effective, Arendash said. For most individuals, however, this moderate level of caffeine intake poses no adverse health effects, according to both the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences. Nonetheless, Arendash said, individuals with high blood pressure or those who are pregnant should limit their daily caffeine intake.

If larger, more rigorous clinical studies confirm that caffeine staves off Alzheimer's in humans, as it does in mice, this benefit would be substantial, Arendash said. Alzheimer's disease attacks nearly half of Americans age 85 and older, and Alzheimer's and other dementias triple healthcare costs for those age 65 and older, according to the Alzheimer's Association.


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Contact: Gary Arendash
arendash@cas.usf.edu
813-732-9040
University of South Florida Health
Source:Eurekalert  

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