Caffeine wake up your memory

A recent study published by the Johns Hopkins University showed that caffeine helps not only to wake up in the mornings and to remain active, but also improves our memory

By Maria Eugenia Fanti

Before people believed caffeine was very bad for health, but a new study made by Professor Michael Yassa, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and his team of scientists showed that caffeine is not so bad, because it helps to improve our memory.

The study about how “caffeine has a positive effect on our long-term memory” was published by the journal Nature Neuroscience, Yassa commented about it on the website of the Johns Hopkins University: “We’ve always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans,” said Yassa, senior author of the paper. “We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours.”

The study included a sample of more than 100 people who did not consume coffee often. “We chose people who were taking less than 500 milligrams of caffeine a week. The majority did not drink coffee, only taking a drink once or twice a week” said Yassa.

According to the study 200 mg of coffee are sufficient to help the memory to run better. This was demonstrated with a simple experiment in which the individuals who participated in the study were shown various images of objects, after five minutes was given to a group coffee and another group was given placebo. After that they show them again similar types of images of various objects. The participants who took caffeine identified better images similar to the original, and those who had taken the placebo were more likely to do so incorrectly.

“The next step for us is to figure out the brain mechanisms underlying this enhancement,” Yassa said. “We can use brain-imaging techniques to address these questions. We also know that caffeine is associated with healthy longevity and may have some protective effects from cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s disease. These are certainly important questions for the future”; said Yassa on John Hopkins University Website.

Sources consulted: John Hopkins News Network, National Institute of Health of the United States and Healthday.

Foto por Nuchylee / Cortesía de Freedigitalphotos

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