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Coffee and Alzheimer’s: Lille scientists publish findings

09 May 2014 | A region on the move, Health, Nutrition and food

Researchers in Lille have flagged a surprising connection—caffeine appears to have a beneficial impact in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Around 850,000 people in France suffer from Alzheimer’s disease — 5% of over-65s and 15% of over-85s. And in view of the country’s aging population, the number can be expected to reach two million in 2040 if no preventive therapy is found. But a research team in Lille has just shown that coffee may provide some protection.
The scientists’ findings support claims that caffeine intake reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and could help protect the brain from one of modern society’s most devastating illnesses. That, in any case, is what research published by a team from Inserm and Lille’s Alzheimer’s and Tauopathy lab. While their results, published in the US journal Neurobiology of Aging, stemmed from experiments with mice, they should nonetheless lift the spirits of all coffee fans.

This is not the first time that coffee has been cited for its beneficial effects on the human brain. "We’ve known for several years that moderate consumption of coffee has beneficial effects, especially in reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s,” explains Dr. David Blum, a member of the Lille-based research group behind the discovery.

The team’s work showed how caffeine can protect the brain from some lesions typical of Alzheimer’s. “We used used an animal model that reproduces certain types of lesions found in Alzheimer’s patients. And we showed that administering caffeine to our animal subjects reduced memory decline and various changes in the origin of lesions.” said Blum. The benefits observed corresponded to a daily intake of two to three cups of coffee.

Next step: develop a caffeine-based drug targeting Alzheimer’s disease.


Source : France Info



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