Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Icon

Moderate coffee consumption may promote brain health — and it’s not because of caffeine

How Cof­fee May Pro­tect Brain Health: A New Study Sug­gests The Ben­e­fits Aren’t Just From Caf­feine (Forbes):

Cof­fee has been get­ting con­sid­er­able atten­tion for a grow­ing list of health ben­e­fits, with brain health high among them. While not with­out a few down­sides, stud­ies have shown impres­sive upsides of mod­er­ate cof­fee con­sump­tion, often linked to its high caf­feine con­tent. But a new lab study sug­gests that when it comes to brain health, cof­fee offers more than the stim­u­lat­ing effects of our favorite legal drug–in fact, decaf could be just as effec­tive Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive enhancement at the edge: The US Navy tests neuro-priming and other non-pharmacological aids to boost cognition and performance

Super SEALs: Elite Units Pur­sue Brain-Stim­u­lat­ing Tech­nolo­gies (Military.com):

At a con­fer­ence near Wash­ing­ton, D.C., in Feb­ru­ary, the com­man­der of all Navy spe­cial oper­a­tions units made an unusu­al request to indus­try: Devel­op and demon­strate tech­nolo­gies that offer “cog­ni­tive enhance­ment” capa­bil­i­ties to boost his elite forces’ men­tal and phys­i­cal per­for­mance Read the rest of this entry »

For a good night’s rest, combine general sleep hygiene with mindful and cognitive techniques

sleep——-

Most Sharp­Brains read­ers under­stand the ben­e­fits of stress reg­u­la­tion, and also the ben­e­fits of sleep. Rec­om­men­da­tions for sleep hygiene are well pub­li­cized. They include avoid­ing alco­hol and stim­u­lants like caf­feine; stick­ing to reg­u­lar bed and wake times (even if you don’t get enough sleep); expos­ing Read the rest of this entry »

Does Coffee Boost Brain/ Cognitive Functions Over Time?

A fewA_small_cup_of_coffee eter­nal ques­tions:
— Is caf­feine good for the brain?
— Does it boost cog­ni­tive func­tions?
— Does it pro­tect against demen­tia?

There is lit­tle doubt that drink­ing that morn­ing cup of cof­fee will like­ly increase alert­ness, but the main ques­tions that research is try­ing to answer go beyond that. Basi­cal­ly: is there a sus­tained, life­time, ben­e­fit or harm from drink­ing cof­fee reg­u­lar­ly?

The answer, so far, con­tains good news and bad news. The good news for cof­fee drinkers is that most of the long-term results are direc­tion­al­ly more pos­i­tive than neg­a­tive, so no clear harm seems to occur. The bad news is that it is not clear so far whether caf­feine has ben­e­fi­cial effects on gen­er­al brain func­tions, either short-term or long-term (aged-relat­ed decline or risks of demen­tia).

It is impor­tant to note that many of the stud­ies show­ing an effect of cof­fee con­sump­tion on brain func­tions or risks of demen­tia report a cor­re­la­tion or asso­ci­a­tion (they are not ran­dom­ized clin­i­cal tri­als). As you know, cor­re­la­tion doesn’t prove cau­sa­tion: cof­fee drinkers may seem to do well in a num­ber in these long-term stud­ies, but there may be oth­er rea­sons why cof­fee drinkers do bet­ter.

Q: How does caf­feine affect my brain?
A: Caf­feine is a stim­u­lant.

It belongs to a chem­i­cal group called xan­thine. Adeno­sine is a nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring xan­thine in the brain that slows down the activ­i­ty of brain cells (neu­rons). To a neu­ron, caf­feine looks like adeno­sine. It is there­fore used by some neu­rons in place of adeno­sine. The result is that these neu­rons speed up instead of slow­ing down.

This increased neu­ronal activ­i­ty trig­gers the release of the adren­a­line hor­mone, which will affect your body Read the rest of this entry »

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Follow us and Engage via…

twitter_logo_header
RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives

Enter Your Email to receive Sharp­Brains free, monthly eNewslet­ter:

Join more than 50,000 Sub­scribers and stay informed and engaged.