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A research study conducted by Finnish researchers shows that midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life, the Web site ScienceDaily.com reported.

The study was conducted at the University of Kuopio in Finland in collaboration with a research group in Sweden and the National Public Health Institute in Finland, ScienceDaily.com reported.

"We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease," said lead researcher Miia Kivipelto, an associate professor at University of Kuopio.

The study found that coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life, compared to those drinking no or only little coffee.

The lowest risk was found among moderate coffee drinkers (drinking 3-5 cups of coffee/day).

"Given the large amount of coffee consumption globally, the results might have important implications for the prevention of or delaying the onset of dementia/AD,” Kivipelto said. “The finding needs to be confirmed by other studies, but it opens the possibility that dietary interventions could modify the risk of dementia/AD. Also, identification of mechanisms of how coffee exerts its protection against dementia/AD might help in the development of new therapies for these diseases."

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