Caffeine May Help To Maintain Memory, Inhibit Cognitive Impairment

Greater intake of caffeine among healthy older adults was associated with better memory and executive functioning.

WASHINGTON — To stave off cognitive decline and keep memory sharp, healthy older adults with no signs of cognitive impairment may want to increase their coffee intake as caffeine may offer protective benefits for the brain.

Margaret P. Chute, a research assistant at the Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues investigated the relationship between multiple  domains of cognition (memory, executive functioning and processing speed) and caffeine and alcohol consumption in older adults.

A total of 282 participants with an average age of 73.7 took part in the study. Fifty-nine percent were female.

Greater caffeine intake was associated with both better memory and better executive functioning, according to an abstract presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015. And the relationship between caffeine consumption and better memory was the same for moderate coffee consumption (2-5 cups per day) as it was for low or heavy intake.

In addition, no association was found between alcohol consumption and an impact on cognitive factors.

“Although previous epidemiological data suggest that alcohol may have long-term neuroprotective effects, our findings do not support any cross-sectional benefit or deleterious effect of alcohol on cognition,” the researchers concluded.


Chute MP, et al. Abstract #3714. Moderate Caffeine Consumption Is Associated with Better Memory Scores in Clinically Normal Older Adults. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015; July 18-23, 2015; Washington, D.C.