Saturday January 19, 2019

Your daily cup of coffee can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms

For the study, the team analysed the effect of caffeine on normal ageing mice and familial Alzheimers models

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Coffee can worsen Alzheimer's symptoms. IANS
  • Intake of coffee or caffeine may worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms
  • It may worsen their neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • There can be significant side effects too

Regular intake of coffee or caffeine by patients with Alzheimer’s disease may worsen their neuropsychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, say researchers. While it is well known that memory problems are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, this dementia is also characterised by neuropsychiatric symptoms, which may be strongly present already in the first stages of the disorder.

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Coffee can cause problems to the patients of Alzheimer’s disease. IANS

These are known as Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) and include anxiety, apathy, depression, hallucinations, paranoid, sundowning and more. The results indicate that caffeine worsened these symptoms in mice with Alzheimer’s. The researchers also discovered significant effects, especially in relation to neophobia — a fear of everything new — anxiety-related behaviours, and emotional and cognitive flexibility.

“The mice develop Alzheimer’s disease in a very close manner to the human patients with early-onset form of the disease,” said lead author Raquel Baeta-Corral from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. “They not only exhibit the typical cognitive problems but also a number of Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD)-like symptoms, so it is a valuable model to address whether the benefits of caffeine will be able to compensate its putative negative effects.”

Also Read: Reducing Alzheimer’s stigma crucial for prevention research

For the study, the team analysed the effect of caffeine on normal ageing mice and familial Alzheimers models. However, coffee has also been suggested as a strategy to prevent dementia, both in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in normal ageing processes, due to its action in blocking molecules – adenosine receptors – which may cause dysfunctions and diseases in old age.

It can worsen the condition of patients of Alzheimer's. Pixabay
It can worsen the condition of patients of Alzheimer’s. Pixabay

But “our observations of adverse caffeine effects in an Alzheimer’s disease model together with previous clinical observations suggest that an exacerbation of BPSD-like symptoms may partly interfere with the beneficial cognitive effects of caffeine”, the researchers said. IANS

Next Story

Poor Sleep May Signal The Risk of Alzheimer’s in Elderly

For the study, the team studied 119 people aged 60 or older among which almost 80 per cent were cognitively normal and the remainder were very mildly impaired

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alzheimer's, cholesterol
Poor sleep can predict Alzheimer's Risk in elderly. Pixabay

Poor sleep quality may signal the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults, a study suggests.

People with Alzheimer’s tend to wake up tired and their nights become even less refreshing as memory loss and other symptoms worsen.

However, the reason was not fully understood.

The study, led by the Washington University in St. Louis found that older adults who sleep poorly or have less slow-wave sleep — deep sleep needed to consolidate memories and wake up feeling refreshed — have higher levels of tau — a toxic brain protein.

Tau has also been linked to brain damage and cognitive decline.

“Measuring how people sleep may be a non-invasive way to screen for Alzheimer’s disease before or just as people begin to develop problems with memory and thinking,” said lead author Brendan Lucey, Assistant Professor from the varsity.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory, Pixabay

Moreover, the findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed that it was not the total amount of sleep that was linked to tau, but the slow-wave sleep, which reflects quality of sleep.

The people with increased tau pathology were actually sleeping more at night and napping more in the day, but they weren’t getting as good quality sleep.

“What’s interesting is that we saw this inverse relationship between decreased slow-wave sleep and more tau protein in people who were either cognitively normal or very mildly impaired, meaning that reduced slow-wave activity may be a marker for the transition between normal and impaired,” Lucey added.

Also Read- Tesla To Retire Lowest-Range Versions of its Model S, X Vehicles

For the study, the team studied 119 people aged 60 or older among which almost 80 per cent were cognitively normal and the remainder were very mildly impaired.

Up to two decades before Alzheimer’s symptoms of memory loss and confusion appear, amyloid beta protein begins to collect into plaques in the brain. Tangles of tau appear later, followed by decline of key brain areas. Only then do people start showing unmistakable signs of cognitive decline.

The challenge is finding people on track to develop Alzheimer’s before such brain changes undermine their ability to think clearly. For that, sleep may be a handy marker, the researchers said. (IANS)