But those who increased consumption has twice the rate
A new study by researchers at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy, Geriatric Unit & Laboratory of Gerontology and Geriatrics, IRCCS "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza", San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy, and Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), Roma, Italy, estimates the association between change or constant habits in coffee consumption and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), evaluating 1,445 individuals recruited from 5,632 subjects, aged 65-84 year old, from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA), a population-based sample from eight Italian municipalities with a 3.5-year median follow-up. These findings are published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia. As no effective treatment exists to modify the natural history of this neurodegenerative disorder, the identification and subsequent management of risk/protective factors may be crucial for prevention of MCI and its progression to AD and dementia. Among diet-associated factors, coffee is regularly consumed by millions of people around the world and owing to its caffeine content, it is the best known psychoactive stimulant resulting in heightened alertness and arousal and improvement of cognitive performance.
Besides short-term effects of caffeine-containing beverages, some case-control and cross-sectional and longitudinal population-based studies evaluated the long-term effects on brain function and provided evidence that coffee, tea, or caffeine consumption or higher plasma caffeine levels may be protective against cognitive impairment and dementia, with some notable exceptions.
An interesting finding in this study was that cognitively normal older individuals who modified their habits by increasing with time their amount of coffee consumption (> 1 cup of coffee/day) had about two times higher rate of MCI compared to those with reduced habits (< 1 cup of coffee/day) and about one and half time higher rate of MCI in comparison with those with constant habits (neither more nor less 1 coffee/day). Moreover, those who habitually consumed moderate amount of coffee (1 or 2 cups of coffee/day) had a reduced rate of the incidence of MCI than those who habitually never or rarely consumed coffee. No significant association was verified between who habitually consumed higher levels of coffee consumption (> 2 cups of coffee/day) and the incidence of MCI in comparison with those who never or rarely consumed coffee.