Study A cup of coffee a day may halt Alzheimer’s disease
A cup of strong coffee a day could protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a new research has found. A daily dose of caffeine blocks the disruptive effects of high cholesterol that scientists have linked to Alzheimer’s disease, earlier studies have shown.
The current study, by researchers at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has found that caffeine equivalent to just one cup of coffee a day could protect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) from damage that occurred with a high-fat diet. The barrier protects the brain from the blood that flows around the rest of the body. A leak in this barrier occurs in disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
In the new study, the researchers gave rabbits three milligrams of caffeine each day, the equivalent of a cup of coffee for an average person. The animals were also fed a cholesterol-enriched diet. The scientists also studied a group of rabbits that were not given any caffeine. Tests after 12 weeks showed the blood-brain barrier was significantly more intact with the animals that had the caffeine. “Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky,” said lead author Jonathan Geiger.
“For the first time we have shown that chronic ingestion of caffeine protects the BBB from cholesterol-induced leakage,” he added.
Caffeine appears to protect BBB breakdown by maintaining the expression levels of tight junction proteins. These proteins bind the cells of the BBB tightly to each other to stop unwanted molecules crossing into the central nervous system. The findings confirm that caffeine intake protects against memory loss in aging and in Alzheimer’s disease. The study appears in the open access publication, Journal of Neuroinflammation. (ANI)