TUESDAY, Nov. 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For cognitively normal older adults, increased coffee consumption is associated with slower cognitive decline and a lower likelihood of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer disease (AD) status, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Samantha L. Gardener, Ph.D., from Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Australia, and colleagues examined the association between self-reported habitual coffee intake and cognitive decline examined during a period of 126 months using a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests among 227 cognitively normal older adults from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers, and Lifestyle (AIBL) study. In a subset of participants, the association between habitual coffee intake and cerebral Aβ-amyloid accumulation and brain volumes was examined (60 and 51 participants, respectively).

The researchers found that higher baseline coffee consumption was associated with slower cognitive decline in executive function, attention, and the AIBL Preclinical AD Cognitive Composite over 126 months and with a lower likelihood of transitioning to mild cognitive impairment or AD status. There was also an association observed for higher baseline coffee consumption with slower Aβ-amyloid accumulation during the study period and with a lower risk of progressing to moderate, high, or very high Aβ-amyloid burden status.

“[This research] could be particularly useful for people who are at risk of cognitive decline but haven’t developed any symptoms,” Gardener said in a statement. “We might be able to develop some clear guidelines people can follow in middle age and hopefully it could then have a lasting effect.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

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