Wednesday October 17, 2018

Increasing coffee intake bad for your brain : Study

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London: While drinking your daily cup of coffee can help you stay sharp, modifying your habit by increasing coffee consumption over time may increase risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia, says new research. 14599057004_9dc53af6f9_b

“These findings from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Ageing suggested that cognitively normal older individuals who never or rarely consumed coffee and those who increased their coffee consumption habits had a higher risk of developing MCI,” said one of the researchers Francesco Panza from the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

“Therefore, moderate and regular coffee consumption may have neuroprotective effects also against MCI – confirming previous studies on the long-term protective effects of coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption and plasma levels of caffeine against cognitive decline and dementia,” Panza noted.

The study involved 1,445 individuals aged 65-84 years.

An interesting finding in this study was that cognitively normal older individuals who modified their habits by increasing with time their amount of coffee consumption ( more than a cup of coffee/day) had about two times higher rate of MCI compared to those with reduced habits (less than a cup of coffee/day).

They also had about one and a half time higher rate of MCI in comparison with those with constant habits (neither more nor less than one cup of coffee/day).

Moreover, those who habitually consumed a moderate amount of coffee (one or two cups of coffee/day) had a reduced rate of the incidence of MCI than those who habitually never or rarely consumed coffee.

These findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

(IANS)

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Novel AI Tool May help to Predict Alzheimer’s risk

Globally, around 50 million people have dementia and the total number is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 in 2050, according to the World Health Organization

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alzheimer's
New AI tool can predict Alzheimer's risk. Pixabay

A team of scientists, including one of an Indian-origin, has successfully trained a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that may soon help doctors to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease and provide intervention.

The team, from the McGill University in Canada, designed an algorithm that learns signatures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), genetics, and clinical data.

This specific algorithm can help predict whether an individual’s cognitive faculties are likely to deteriorate towards Alzheimer’s in the next five years.

“At the moment, there are limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence we have is for prevention. Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a ‘doctor’s assistant’ that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment,” Mallar Chakravarty, assistant professor at the University’s Department of Psychiatry.

“For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it altogether,” she added.

Alzheimer's
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory, Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, the team trained their algorithms using data from more than 800 people ranging from normal healthy seniors to those experiencing mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease patients.

“We are currently working on testing the accuracy of predictions using new data. It will help us to refine predictions and determine if we can predict even farther into the future,” Chakravarty noted.

With more data, doctors would be able to better identify those in the population at greatest risk for cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s.

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Globally, around 50 million people have dementia and the total number is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 in 2050, according to the World Health Organization.

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, may contribute to 60-70% of cases. Presently, there is no truly effective treatment for this disease. (IANS)

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