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Coffee may help stop Alzheimer’s

Scientists in Lille discover that the equivalent of two cups of coffee a day could help protect against brain disease

16 April 2014

TWO CUPS of coffee a day could help protect people against Alzheimer’s, scientists in Lille have said - and, for the first time, they have suggested how.

Researchers at National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and Alzheimer’s laboratory Tauopathies in the city discovered that caffeine prevents the growth of the brain cell-clogging protein tau, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease, in mice.

The doses of caffeine used in the study are the equivalent of about two or three cups of coffee per day, the study in the American medical journal Neurobiology of Aging said.

Previous research has found that older people are less likely to suffer cognitive decline if they take regular, moderate amounts of caffeine.

Experiments have also found that caffeine slows memory loss in mice bred to develop so-called amyloid plaques — another compound buildup in the brain that is associated with Alzheimer's.

This is not the first time coffee’s benefits on the brain have been acknowledged.

“For many years we have known that moderate coffee consumption has beneficial effects, including cutting the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease,” Inserm scientist David Blum said.

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