by Ari Magill, MD
Studies in Lab Animals
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF)—a glycoprotein that stimulates the bone marrow to produce granulocytes and stem cells and release them into the bloodstream
Transgenic Mouse Model—a genetically modified mouse commonly used in research
Another way that caffeine might lower beta amyloid buildup in the brain was demonstrated in rats from a study by Wostyn et al.3 Caffeine appears to increase production of cerebrospinal fluid, which decreases with age and improves blood flow in the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid is thought to help clear out buildup of the beta amyloid protein that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Plasma levels of caffeine are also correlated with decreased levels of inflammation in the hippocampus, the brain’s primary memory center.4
Epidemiologic Studies of Humans
In conclusion, there is good evidence that caffeine, especially in the form of moderate coffee intake as a part of an overall healthy lifestyle, can be beneficial for the brain as long as you are maintaining a level to avoid negative side effects such as increased anxiety and cardiovascular stress.
2. Arendash GW, et al. Caffeine protects Alzheimer’s mice against cognitive impairment and reduces brain β-amyloid production. Neuroscience. 2006;142(4):941-952. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.07.021.
3. Wostyn P, et al. Increased cerebrospinal fluid production as a possible mechanism underlying caffeine’s protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease. Int J Alz Dis. 2011;2011:617420. DOI: 10.4061/2011/617420.
4. Cao C, et al. Caffeine suppresses amyloid-β levels in plasma and brain of Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. J Alz Dis. 2009;17(3):681-697. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2009-1071.
5. Kim JW, et al. Coffee intake and decreased amyloid pathology in human brain. Trans Psychiatr. 2019;9(1):1-10. DOI: 10.1038/s41398-019-0604-5.
6. Cao C, et al. Caffeine synergizes with another coffee component to increase plasma GCSF: linkage to cognitive benefits in Alzheimer’s mice. J Alz Dis. 2011;25(2):323-335. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2011-110110.
7. Driscoll I, et al. Relationships between caffeine intake and risk for probable dementia or global cognitive impairment: the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016;71(12):1596-1602. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glw078.
8. Eskelinen MH, Miia K. Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. J Alz Dis. 2010;20(suppl 1):S167-S174. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2010-1404.
9. Cao C, et al. High blood caffeine levels in MCI linked to lack of progression to dementia. J Alz Dis. 2012;30(3):559-572. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2012-111781.