Caffeine Enhance Memory?
Florian Koppelstaetter, MD, of
Austria’s Medical University at Innsbruck performed a study
on about a dozen healthy adults that showed caffeine boosted brain
activity in the regions of the brain related to short term memory
storage and attention. Some of the participants were given the equivalent
of about one cup of coffee and the others received a placebo. They
were then administered tests that made them use the parts of the
brain involved in short term memory storage; they were given a grouping
of letters and they were asked to recall them shortly after. Brain
scans done on the participants showed that those who were given
the caffeine had enhanced brain activity compared to those without
the caffeine, and those with the caffeine scored significantly higher
than those without.
As studies continue, the positive effects
of caffeine seem to be increasing, although it must be noted that
caffeine addiction is common and withdrawal can lead to severe headaches.
Too much caffeine can cause jitters, stomach ulcers and high blood
pressure as well. Moderate ingestion of coffee and other caffeinated
drinks, however, appear to not only be harmless but actually might
provide some unexpected cognitive benefits.