Caffeine and Alzheimer's

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

Today there were many headlines about caffeine and Alzheimer's disease. Many of those headlines suggested that coffee might actually cure Alzheimer's disease. That conclusion is more than a bit premature and will be difficult to reconcile with the vast number of heavy coffee drinkers progressing through advanced stages of the disease as I write this.

This news originated from the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) in Tampa, Florida with a study published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. In that study, mice with a condition similar to Alzheimer's disease were given caffeinated water in a dose equivalent to about 5 cups of coffee per day for humans. These mice then showed a reduction in the beta-amyloid plaques in their brains and improved performance on a series of thinking and learning tests.

While some correlation between caffeine and improved cognition has been shown in other studies as well, this particular study does not warrant headlines suggesting a cure for Alzheimer's disease (a comment that I am sure the scientists conducting the study would support).

Today's ambitious headlines are merely an example of health care editors turning a small scientific conclusion into a tantalizing story in the press.

No comments :

Post a Comment