The coffee cure for memory loss

Summary:Researchers at the Byrd Alzheimer's Center in Tampa have given mice bred with Alzheimer's the equivalent of five cups of coffee per day (a long breakfast at the Chatterbox) and found better memory and half the beta amyloid plaques implicated in the disease process compared with decaffeinated mice.

Coffee is the main drug in Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegon stories. (Picture from the International Review Of Music.)

The oldtimers down it by the urn-load. The bachelor farmers at the Chatterbox Cafe. The church ladies over at Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility. It's all over the shelves at Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery.

Turns out those fictional old timers know a thing or two about healthy living. Coffee is this year's aspirin, a wonder drug whose miraculous powers are just now being investigated.

Researchers at the Byrd Alzheimer's Center in Tampa have given mice bred with Alzheimer's the equivalent of five cups of coffee per day (a long breakfast at the Chatterbox) and found better memory and half the beta amyloid plaques implicated in the disease process compared with decaffeinated mice. It's all going into the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

This is a follow-up to earlier studies showing that a coffee habit begun in early adulthood may actually reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's at all.

Word of mouse is spreading fast in the world press. Here it is at the BBC, here it is at Xinhua in China and here it is in the Hindu in India.

Few reporters are heeding the warning of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, that the results have yet to be replicated in humans and it's too early to say whether this is really going to help.

Personally I find that a small pot of coffee after a workout is what my brain needs these days to get to writing. But I'm a man, not a mouse.

What are your findings?

Topics: Hardware

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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