07 July 2009

Recipe for Alzheimer's disease

Coffee really protects against dementiaDmitry Tselikov, Compulenta
American scientists have proven that five cups of coffee a day can eliminate memory problems in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Earlier this year, Finnish and Swedish researchers made the same conclusion, but it was based only on a sociological survey. Specialists from the University of Florida went deeper.

Scientists used 55 mice with a model of Alzheimer's disease. After making sure that at the age of 18-19 months (mouse old age), individuals begin to experience memory problems, the researchers injected them with caffeine daily in an amount equivalent to a person (taking into account body weight) 500 milligrams – that's how much five cups of regular or two cups of very strong coffee, 14 cups of tea and 20 servings of Coca-Cola contain.

After two months of dieting, the mice performed the test tasks better than their non-caffeinated counterparts. Moreover, a 50% decrease in the concentration of beta-amyloid proteins, which, in fact, cause senile dementia, was found in the brain of lucky mice.

Further studies have shown that caffeine suppresses enzymes that affect the production of these proteins. Scientists have also suggested that it prevents the development of inflammatory processes in the brain, which are also the cause of an excess of beta-amyloid proteins.

Earlier, the same researchers showed that if a young mouse takes caffeine, its chances of senile dementia decrease.

Experts are moving on to experiments on humans and warn that their preliminary conclusions should not be interpreted as a guide to action. 500 milligrams of caffeine will have a positive effect on the health of not every person. Pregnant women and those with high blood pressure are at risk.

The results of the study are published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (Gary W. Arendash et al., Caffeine Reverses Cognitive Impairment and Decreases Brain Amyloid-β Levels in Aged Alzheimer's Disease Mice).

Prepared based on the materials of the BBC.

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