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Curr Med Chem. 2017 Oct 9. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666171009104040. [Epub ahead of print]

Protective effects of the caffeine against neurodegenerative diseases.

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Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, V. le Ferdinando Stagno d'Alcontres 31, 98166 Messina. Italy.


Caffeine is one of the most consumed stimulant of the central nervous system. Similar to those of other stimulants, its effects are to improve brain activity and stimulate cognition learning and memory. Caffeine affects the brain by acting mainly as a non-selective blocker of the adenosine receptors (A1, A2A, A2B, and A3). The purpose of this review article is to provide an overview on the neurobiochemical impact of caffeine, focusing on the ability of the drug to effectively counteract several neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases, Multiple sclerosis and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Epilepsy. What emerges is a significant therapeutic and prophylactic potentiality of caffeine because of its antioxidant activity combined with multiple molecular targets. Moreover, it is striking to note that a molecule such as caffeine, appeared in the land plants few billion years ago may be an efficient drug for cells of more recent evolutionary origin.


Adenosine receptors; Antioxidant activity; Caffeine; Mitochondrial biogenesys. ; Neurodegeneration; Neuroproective effects

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