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CNS Neurosci Ther. 2017 Apr;23(4):272-290. doi: 10.1111/cns.12684.

The neuroprotective effects of caffeine in neurodegenerative diseases.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Muscle Health Research Centre, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Caffeine is the most widely used psychostimulant in Western countries, with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), caffeine is beneficial in both men and women, in humans and animals. Similar effects of caffeine were observed in men with Parkinson's disease (PD); however, the effect of caffeine in female PD patients is controversial due to caffeine's competition with estrogen for the estrogen-metabolizing enzyme, CYP1A2. Studies conducted in animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) showed protective effects of A2A R antagonism. A study found caffeine to be associated with earlier age of onset of Huntington's disease (HD) at intakes >190 mg/d, but studies in animal models have found equivocal results. Caffeine is protective in AD and PD at dosages equivalent to 3-5 mg/kg. However, further research is needed to investigate the effects of caffeine on PD in women. As well, the effects of caffeine in ALS, HD and Machado-Joseph disease need to be further investigated. Caffeine's most salient mechanisms of action relevant to neurodegenerative diseases need to be further explored.


Alzheimer disease; Huntington disease; Parkinson disease; adenosine receptor; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; caffeine; dosage; neurodegenerative disease; neuroprotection

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