Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors. The results indicated that caffeine cannot be recommended as therapy for movement symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Researchers from McGill University in Montreal, Canada showed that coffee may not relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
‘There was no improvement in movement symptoms for people with Parkinson's disease who had taken the caffeine capsules compared to those who took the placebo capsules.’
A more in-depth investigation has shown that the beverage did nothing to alleviate sufferers' crippling symptoms. Study author Dr Ronald Postuma said that caffeine, which is so safe and inexpensive, has been linked to a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's. "So, it was exciting to think that it could possibly help people who already have the disease," Postuma added.
The team analysed 121 people with an average age of 62, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's for an average of four years. Of those, half were given a 200-milligram capsule of caffeine twice daily, once in the morning and once after lunch, the equivalent of three cups of coffee per day, while the other half were given placebo capsules. To help them adjust to the caffeine, the dose was increased slowly, starting with placebo and reaching 200 milligrams at week nine.
The study participants were followed for six to 18 months. The findings indicated there was no improvement in movement symptoms for people who had taken the caffeine capsules compared to those who took the placebo capsules. There was also no difference in quality of life. Dr Postuma stated that while previous study showed possible improvement in symptoms but that study was shorter, so it's possible that caffeine may have a short-term benefit that quickly dissipates.
The research appears in online issue of Neurology.