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article imageDrinking coffee could reverse Alzheimer's effects

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Jul 6, 2009 in Health
Studies conducted at the University of South Florida have found that five cups of coffee a day could help to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists have been investigating the benefits of caffeine in preventing Alzheimer's disease for many years. A recent study conducted by researchers in mice gives further evidence into this.
A group of researchers from the University of South Florida studied 55 mice that had been genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer's disease symptoms. As part of the study, half the animals were given a daily dose of caffeine in their drinking water while the other half continued to drink ordinary water. After two months on the stimulant, they found that their memory had actually returned. Those animals which drank ordinary water didn't show any improvement.
Experiments found that caffeine cut by half the mice's excessive blood and brain levels of beta amyloid, the protein linked to characteristic plaque found in human Alzheimer's disease.
Dr Gary Arendash who led the research team, says
After we'd been giving the mice caffeine for two months, we found that their memory had actually returned, that there was a reversal of the memory impairment they had, and quite remarkably the Alzheimer's pathology in their brain was reduced by about 50 per cent. Although mice and human brains are similar in key ways, the results cannot be assumed to be directly applicable to humans.
The mice were given 1.5 milligrams of caffeine per day, but according to him the human equivalent will be around 500 milligrams.
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