Caffeine may be protective against the cognitive decline seen in dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
A special supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, "Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases," sheds new light on this topic.
Guest editors Alexandre de Mendonga, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal, and Rodrigo A. Cunha, Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of Coimbra and Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal, have assembled a group of international experts to explore the effects of caffeine on the brain.
The resulting collection of original studies conveys multiple perspectives on topics ranging from molecular targets of caffeine, neurophysiological modifications and adaptations, to the potential mechanisms underlying the behavioral and neuroprotective actions of caffeine in distinct brain pathologies.
"Epidemiological studies first revealed an inverse association between the chronic consumption of caffeine and the incidence of Parkinson's disease," according to Mendonga and Cunha.
"This was paralleled by animal studies of Parkinson's disease showing that caffeine prevented motor deficits as well as neurodegeneration "Later a few epidemiological studies showed that the consumption of moderate amounts of caffeine was inversely associated with the cognitive decline associated with aging as well as the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Again, this was paralleled by animal studies showing that chronic caffeine administration prevented memory deterioration and neurodegeneration in animal models of aging and of Alzheimer's disease."