Epidemiologic studies have increasingly suggested that caffeine/coffee could be an effective therapeutic against Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have utilized a transgenic mouse model for AD in well-controlled studies to determine if caffeine and/or coffee have beneficial actions to protect against or reverse AD-like cognitive impairment and AD pathology. AD mice given caffeine in their drinking water from young adulthood into older age showed protection against memory impairment and lower brain levels of the abnormal protein (amyloid-beta; Abeta) thought to be central to AD pathogenesis.
As part of a German-French research project, a team led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer's disease.
The two-years project was supported with 30,000 Euro from the non-profit Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) and with 50,000 Euro from the French Partner organization LECMA. The initial results were published in the online edition of the journal “Neurobiology of Aging.”
Tau deposits, along with beta-amyloid plaques, are among the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. These protein deposits disrupt the communication of the nerve cells in the brain and contribute to their degeneration. Despite intensive research there is no drug available to date which can prevent this detrimental process. Based on the results of Prof. Dr. Christa Müller from the University of Bonn, …