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Caffeine Can Provide Modest Relief of Parkinson’s Symptoms

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(MONTREAL) -- It seems that a few cups of coffee can help relieve some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, Canadian researchers have found.
 
While earlier studies have shown that those who consume caffeine are less likely to get Parkinson's, a new study in the journal Neurology has found that caffeine can also relieve Parkinson's symptoms.

Parkinson's disease attacks the central nervous system, causing such symptoms as sleepiness, shaking, muscle rigidity, and difficulty walking and moving.

For the study, researchers at McGill University gave 61 Parkinson's patients either a placebo or caffeine in doses equivalent to two to four cups of coffee per day. After six weeks, they found that those who took the caffeine were just as sleepy, but they did experience modest improvement of other Parkinson's symptoms relating to mobility.

"This is modest improvement, but may be enough to provide benefit to patients.  On the other hand, it may not be sufficient to explain the relationship between caffeine non-use and Parkinson's, since studies of the progression of Parkinson's symptoms early in the disease suggest that a five-point reduction would delay diagnosis by only six months," McGill University researcher Dr. Ronald Postuma, M.D., M.Sc., said in a statement.
 
The study's authors urge further study of caffeine and its benefits for those with Parkinson's.
 
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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