A study published in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease purports that caffeine may protect against cognitive decline that occurs as a result of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The report goes on to specify that caffeine can help:
- Normalize brain function and prevent degeneration
- Reduce effects of Alzheimer’s
- Improve memory and overall cognitive performance
- Protect against Parkinson’s disease
Caffeine appears to reduce amyloid-beta production, and that in turn helps inhibit growth of plaques in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s. The other effect — and this falls into the realm of research that shows happiness is, in itself, incredibly good for you — is that caffeine can act as a powerful mood lifter, relieving the depressive symptoms which are thought as the most prevalent complication of cognitive decline.
So, coffee (or at least the caffeine in it) is a mood lifter? I guess so. I know I’m significantly less happy in the morning if I don’t get it.