Lifewatch: Caffeine and Alzheimer's

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - An American scientist claims caffeine can reverse the effects of Alzheimer's, and in some cases even cure it.

Mice with the equivalent of the disease were given large doses of caffeine.  They developed better memories and quicker thinking, and experts believe it could slow down Alzheimer's in humans too.

The symptoms of Alzheimer's occurs when sticky clumps of an abnormal protein build up in the brain.

"If you have a lot of caffeine it can prevent you sleeping, it can give some people slight tummy upset, and it can raise your blood pressure," said Rebecca Wood with Alzheimer's Research Trust. "So what we're saying to people is don't rush out and start drinking enormous amounts of coffee. But, actually, compared to most drugs, it's relatively low so we're hopeful that more work on this will show us it might be a useful treatment for Alzheimer's disease, and that would be absolutely wonderful if that's the case."

The US researchers now plan to begin human trials of caffeine.

It is important to watch the foods and drinks we consume that contain caffeine.  To learn more about foods with caffeine, click here.