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.
Useful linksResearch Institute of the MUHC:
Julie Robert | EurekAlert!
Scientists use nanoparticle-delivered gene therapy to inhibit blinding eye disease in rodents
08.07.2020 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Deconstructing glioblastoma complexity reveals its pattern of development
08.07.2020 | McGill University
New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices
Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...
Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
07.07.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences
10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences