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Several epidemiological studies suggest that a regular, lifelong, moderate consumption of coffee/caffeine may slow down physiological, age-related cognitive decline, especially in women and those over 80 years old in particular.
Although research points to an inverse (i.e. favourable) association between lifelong coffee consumption and risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, the epidemiological studies available are heterogeneous and prospective studies on larger cohorts are still missing.
There is a wealth of epidemiological studies reporting an inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. The relationship is believed to be dose-dependent, hence a possible causal effect.
According to animal studies, it is likely that caffeine in coffee is the main component responsible for the potential preventative effect of coffee in Parkinson’s disease.
Several human studies report a protective effect of coffee consumption against the risk of stroke.
The mechanisms of action underlying the neuroprotective effects of coffee constituents remain unclear. Caffeine plays a large role by antagonizing adenosine A2A receptors, but effects of other coffee components on the brain vascular system, blood-brain barrier and inflammation have also been identified.
The content in this Topic Overview was last edited in November 2014. Papers in the Latest Research section and further resources are added regularly.
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