Research into coffee consumption and dementia receives funding

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Institute for Scientific Information of Coffee backs dementia research

01 September, 2014: The Institute for Scientific Information of Coffee (ISIC), a non-profit organisation, devoted to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health, has provided €300,000 of funding for a four year research project exploring the role of coffee consumption in reducing risk of dementia development.

To date, meta-analyses have suggested that coffee consumption may be associated with lower incidence of developing Alzheimer’s Disease1,2, the most prominent form of dementia. However there is a large amount of variation between individual studies and a lack of research using large cohorts with long follow-up. The aim of this project is to gain a broader, and more complete, understanding of the association between coffee consumption and dementia.

The project will investigate the potential role of daily coffee consumption on dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. There are six key strands to the research, investigating:

  • The association between coffee consumption and incident dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • The effect of coffee consumption on gait and walking patterns
  • The effect of coffee consumption on global cognitive function
  • The association between coffee consumption and specific cognitive domains
  • The association between coffee consumption and the deterioration of the brain – both globally and in memory regions
  • The effect of coffee consumption on small blood vessels in the brain

The funding was awarded to researchers at the Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Lead researcher Dr. Arfan Ikram commented: “We’re very pleased to have received this funding. With an aging population, dementia is becoming an increasing public health concern. We hope that our research may be able to shed some light on the potentially beneficial role coffee could play on the incidence of dementia.”

On 29 August, the first phase of this research project was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology. The studyexplored the short and long term effect of coffee consumption on the development of dementia in a large sample of over 5,000 people. Moderate coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of developing dementia over a four year follow-up period, however the effect diminished over longer follow up period.

“We welcome the results of this study, which adds to the body of research in this area. However, further research is required,” explained Dr. Marino Petracco, Chair of ISIC’s Scientific Committee. He continued: “There is a series of additional research activities in the pipeline which we hope will help to provide us with a deeper understanding of the role coffee consumption may play in dementia risk reduction.”

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References
1 Barranco Quintana JL et al (2007). Alzheimer’s disease and coffee: a quantitative review. Neurol Res, 29:91-5
2 Santos C et al (2010). Caffeine intake and dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Alzheimers Dis, 20 Suppl 1:S187-204.
3 Mirza SS. et al. (2014) Coffee consumption and incident dementia. European Journal of Epidemiology, published online ahead of print.

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