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Caffeine for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

15 APR 2014
Career Path : Health and Technology

This week, the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences blog announces new research on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. To date, Big Pharma has focused on controlling the symptoms of the disease, rather than successfully disrupting its biological processes. And quite often, this is how drugmakers approach chronic illness – management rather than cure. Patients remain tied to medications that do not address the source of their condition. The blog post, Caffeine for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, reflects on our relationship with pharmaceuticals noting that,

Unfortunately, our dependence on chemical compounds has brought with it a slew of unwanted side-effects, the problem of antibiotic resistance, and in many cases has moved us no closer to preventing devastating disease. Looking instead to nature for answers, scientists from the universities of Bonn and Lille have presented groundbreaking clinical research on the cognitive benefits of caffeine. With little chemical manipulation, they found that coffee has the power to not only boost memory, but actually prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease – a heartbreaking condition that afflicts millions of families across North America.

The German-French team, led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille tested their caffeine-based compound on mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The compound actually improved their memory skills and prevented the degenerating effects of tau deposits – the proteins that disrupt and degenerate brain nerve cells in patients with the disease. The team is perhaps years away from testing their drug on humans and bringing it to market, but the early results indicate a promising move away from abrasive chemical treatments toward natural sources of disease prevention.