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Rev Neurol. 2010 Feb 16-28;50(4):221-9.

[Caffeine as a preventive drug for Parkinson's disease: epidemiologic evidence and experimental support].

[Article in Spanish]

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Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Merida, Mexico.



Prospective epidemiologic studies performed in large cohorts of men (total: 374,003 subjects) agree in which the risk of suffering Parkinson's disease diminishes progressively as the consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages increases. In the case of women (total: 345,184 subjects) the protective effect of caffeine is only observed in menopausal women which do not receive estrogen replacement therapy. Studies with models of acute parkinsonism in rodents have shown that caffeine reduces the loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons induced with the neurotoxins 6-hidroxidopamine and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, effect that seems to be mediated through blockade of A(2A) adenosine receptors. Recently, it was shown that male rats treated with moderate doses of caffeine (5 mg/kg/day) during six months, followed by a withdrawal period of at least two weeks, developed a greater resistance to the catalepsy induced with the dopaminergic antagonist haloperidol, which was possibly mediated by an increase of dopaminergic transmission in the corpus striatum.


More studies are needed to demonstrate unequivocally that caffeine prevents the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in animal models of moderate, chronic, and progressive parkinsonism, since it could lead to the discovery of more effective drugs for the prevention of aging-related degenerative diseases of the central nervous system.

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