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Alzheimer’s & Caffeine

July 22, 2009

Caffeine may stave off and even reverse the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Could coffee treat Alzheimer’s? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A powerful treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease might be hiding in your morning coffee. This according to Gary Arendash of the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Tampa. He says people who drink caffeine regularly tend to have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease. So he and his colleagues tested caffeine on mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms.

GARY ARENDASH (Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center):
We found that the caffeine, in fact, not only reversed their memory impairment, but also reversed their brain pathology.

HIRSHON:
Specifically, it cleaned up a molecule called beta-amyloid, a key component of the brain plaques found in Alzheimer’s patients. Existing therapies don’t work on this level. Now, Arendash’s team is starting human clinical trials, and since caffeine is known to be safe, they can proceed more quickly than usual. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.