This information is intended for healthcare and professional audiences.
Factsheet for professionals
Age-related cognitive decline
- Cognitive functions remain relatively stable until 60 years and tend to slow down thereafter, particularly between 60 and 80 years.
- Recent research even suggests that brain function can start to deteriorate as early as 451.
- In addition, older adults are susceptible to developing neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
- Between 50 and 70 percent of people with dementia suffer from Alzheimer’s disease2.
- Approximately one person out of twenty over the age of 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s disease versus less than one person in a thousand under the age of 653.
- By 2025, the percentage of people in the EU aged over 65 is predicted to rise from 15.4% of the population to 22.4%, which is likely to correlate with a rise in Alzheimer’s disease4.
- Approximately 26 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease world-wide4.
- In Europe, almost 1.2 million people are estimated to have Parkinson’s disease, with about 75,000 new cases diagnosed every year5.
- The age of onset of Parkinson’s disease is usually over 60, but it is estimated that one in ten people are diagnosed before the age of 50, with slightly more men than women affected6.
- According the Global Declaration for Parkinson’s Disease, 6.3 million people have Parkinson’s worldwide, and it affects all races and cultures6.
Coffee consumption and neurodegenerative disorders
- Research suggests that a regular, lifelong, moderate consumption of coffee/caffeine may slow down physiological, age-related cognitive decline7, especially in women and those over 80 years old in particular8,9.
- Although epidemiological research suggests that lifelong, moderate coffee consumption is linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease7,10, further studies are warranted before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
- There is a substantial amount of epidemiological* research showing that as coffee consumption rises, risk of Parkinson’s disease falls, which suggests a potential preventative effect of coffee11,12,13.
- The bioactive components in coffee responsible for these effects on neurological function are not known. Caffeine may play a role but other neuroprotective, antioxidative or anti-inflammatory components of coffee are candidates.
- For Parkinson’s disease, it is likely that caffeine is the main component responsible for the potential preventative effect14,15.
- Recent studies suggest that moderate coffee consumption may also reduce the risk of stroke16,17,18.
- The mechanisms of action underlying the neuroprotective effects of coffee constituents remain unclear.
- These data support beneficial effects of coffee drinking, but further research is needed to fully substantiate these effects.
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