Parkinson's Disease and Coffee is a disorder that affects the health of the elderly and is becoming increasingly important due to the rapidly aging American population. This is a condition that affects the neurological health of the afflicted patient. The prevalence of this condition is increasing and is costing both insurers and taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
Several studies have been done recently to determine whether there is a valid link between drinking coffee and reduction in the onset of this disease.
One of these was done in Boston, Mass. They recently looked at whether drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages leads to a reduced risk of this disease. They found that, in mice, caffeine positively affects the part of the brain most affected by Parkinson's Disease. While they could not definitively state that coffee was beneficial to the health of the individual and the prevention of this disease. They did say that the caffeine in coffee helped calm the muscular issues associated with this disease.
At a hospital in Singapore a related study was done. They took the previously uncharted step of investigating the relationship between neurological health and coffee. Particularly as it pertains to this disease in ethnic Chinese people. They were able to demonstrate that coffee has a protective effect against this disease in an ethnic Chinese population. This is once they adjusted the results to account for outside factors such as environmental risks.
In late 2003, a university in Palermo, Italy explored the association between drinking coffee and Parkinson's Disease. Their patients were people already affected by this disease. Their patients were matched against controls of equivalent age and genders. It was found that those who drank coffee heavily (more than 81 cups a year) had more brain function than those who did not.
Concerned about the growing number of elderly people that are taken care of by the veterans administration. The VA decided to have a look into the relationship between coffee and this disease. The large number of elderly were the result of the Baby Boomer population.
In this particular study there were 8004 Japanese-American men between the ages of 45 and 68. This study lasted for a period of six years. They wanted to determine if coffee consumption reduced the risk of contracting this disease as was previously believed. Out of these 8004 Japanese-American men, 102 of them actually contracted this disease. After exhaustive analysis, it was determined that the men who consumed at least 28 ounces of coffee daily had the least risk of their neurological health being adversely affected.
The relationship between coffee and Parkinson's was also studied in Boston by Harvard School of Public Health. They also wanted to determine if the caffeine in coffee was the determining factor in reducing risk, or if it was in fact some other ingredient in the coffee. Looking at long term patients it was determined by the researchers that it was indeed the caffeine that contributed to the neurological health of the patients.
Finally, a study was conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The subjects were 196 patients with this disease that contracted it between 1976 and 1995. These researchers found that consuming coffee both reduced the overall risk of the onset of Parkinson's Disease and, on those who developed Parkinson's Disease, consumption of coffee increased the age at which the neurological health issues developed.
While these studies have not been able to positively link the caffeine in coffee with the reduction of the onset of this disease. They have shown that there is undoubtedly a link between increased coffee consumption and the delay in the onset of this disease. This despite the fact that it is unknown which ingredient actually is helpful.
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