Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Caffeine may ease Parkinson's symptoms

02.08.2012
Caffeine, which is widely consumed around the world in coffee, tea and soft drinks, may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson's.

This is the finding of a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) that was recently published in Neurology®, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study opens the door to new treatment options for Parkinson's disease that affects approximately 100 000 Canadians.

"This is one of the first studies to show the benefits of caffeine on motor impairment in people who have Parkinson's disease," stated Dr. Ronald Postuma, lead author of the study, a researcher in neurosciences at the RI MUHC, and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. "Research has already shown that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, but until now no study had looked at the immediate clinical implications of this finding."

Caffeine—one of the most widely used psychomotor stimulants in the world—it acts on the central nervous system and cardiovascular system by temporarily decreasing tiredness and increasing alertness. According to Dr. Postuma, sleepiness is commonly associated with Parkinson's disease. "We wanted to discover how caffeine could impact sleepiness as well as the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, shaking and loss of balance."

The researchers followed a group of 61 people with Parkinson's. While the control group received a placebo pill, the other group received a 100 mg dose of caffeine twice a day for three weeks and then 200 mg twice a day for another three weeks.

"The people who received caffeine supplements experienced an improvement in their motor symptoms (a five-point improvement on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, a rating scale used to measure the severity of the disease) over those who received the placebo," said Dr. Postuma. "This was due to improvement in speed of movement and a reduction in stiffness." Caffeine had only borderline effects on sleepiness, and did not affect depression or nighttime sleep quality in the study participants.

Larger-scale studies need to be carried out over a longer period to clarify these caffeine-related improvements. "Caffeine should be explored as a treatment option for Parkinson's disease. It may be useful as a supplement to medication and could therefore help reduce patient dosages," concluded Dr. Postuma.

Funding
This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Webster Foundation.
Research partners
The study was co-authored by Ronald B. Postuma, Silvia Rios Romenets and Robert Altman (Department of Neurology, McGill/MUHC); Amélie Pelletier (Department of Neurology, McGill/MUHC, RI MUHC); Kathia Charland (Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill); Anthony E. Lang, Rosa Chuang and Binit Shah from the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre and the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson's Disease, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto; Renato P. Munhoz, Mariana Moscovich, Luciane Filla and Debora Zanatta of the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil.

Useful links

Research Institute of the MUHC:
www.muhc.ca/research
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC):
www.muhc.ca
McGill University:
www.mcgill.ca

Julie Robert | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.muhc.mcgill.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>