Caffeine Delivers Visible Boost to Brain Activity

Making a cup of coffee will get you up from your desk and provide some caffeine to help you stay alert. That is not the only benefit for getting some caffeine.

An Austrian research team has unveiled good news with evidence that caffeine delivers visibly increased brain activity that stimulates short-term memory.Dr Florian Koppelstatter of the Medical University Innsbruck, Austria, reported: “We were able to show that caffeine modulates a higher brain function through its effects on distinct areas of the brain.”

Previous studies had shown how caffeine might be enhancing memory, in that it binds to brain receptors, blocking the calming effect of the adenosine neurotransmitter. Now it also has shown that this mechanism been increases brain activity.

Koppelstatter’s research used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to view the brains of volunteers, while conducting tests of their short-term recall.

Eleven volunteers were shown a series of letters (A, B, C and D) and asked if the displayed image was the same as two letters earlier. Those who had been given caffeine, instead of a placebo, displayed significantly more activity in the frontal lobe and the anterior cingulum, areas of the brain associated with memory and attention.

This effect was witnessed after giving volunteers 100 mg doses of caffeine (equal to around two cups of coffee) after a 12-hour caffeine- and nicotine-free period.

Did you also know that coffee can reduce the risk for Alzheimer? Read more here in MissBrain.