Study: Coffee as an active ingredient against Alzheimer's

Study: Coffee as an active ingredient against Alzheimer's

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Study: Effect of caffeine against Alzheimer's

The Germans' favorite drink, coffee, has long been classified as predominantly harmful to health. But the caffeine it contains may help not only in the short term against fatigue, but also in the long term for Alzheimer's. The results of a German-French study give hope for this.

Caffeine could help in the long term against Alzheimer's. The most popular drink among Germans, coffee, is considered to promote concentration and is a quick stimulant. The caffeine it contains not only helps against fatigue in the short term, but may also help with Alzheimer's in the long term. A team of researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Lille (France) found that a caffeine-like active ingredient in a laboratory test with mice inhibits deposits of the so-called tau protein in the brain.

Two main indicators of Alzheimer's disease Such tau deposits are one of the two main indicators of Alzheimer's disease. With the other indicator, clumps of amyloid beta protein, the positive effects of caffeine in mice were already proven. For the first time, the research team around the Bonn professor Christa Müller and her research colleague David Blum from Lille have also confirmed the effect on the tau protein. The scientists published the first results in the online edition of the specialist journal "Neurobiology of Aging".

Very promising approach Caffeine blocks certain receptors in the brain that are otherwise activated by the messenger adenosine. According to preliminary studies, this blockade affects amyloid beta damage. This reduces the amount of harmful clumping and a protective effect from caffeine occurs. As the current study shows, the effect also helps against the dew deposits. Werner Hofmann, former president of the German Geriatric Society, spoke of a “very promising approach” to the study. "However, the road is still very long." In addition, the scope of the project is rather small: "The volume of research funds is very modest." Professor Müller received 30,000 euros from the non-profit association "Alzheimer Research Initiative" (AFI) and her colleague Lille researched the French sister organization of AFI with almost 50,000 euros.

Further attempts are necessary In a statement on Monday, Müller spoke of "a good step ahead". It had been shown that the new approach "in an animal model that is very similar to the disease actually has very positive effects" with few side effects. Before the first clinical studies would start, further experiments with animals would have to follow. A few years ago, researchers at the German Research Center Jülich also came to the conclusion in a scientific study that regular drinking of coffee could reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, since the caffeine it contains affects those areas of the brain that cause Alzheimer's disease are involved. This knowledge had already been gained in previous studies, but the Jülich scientists were able to localize for the first time where the active ingredient caffeine in coffee works in the human brain. The substance is not only found in coffee, but also in black tea and chocolate. (sb)

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