Interesting news in Parkinson's research today. A new Canadian study has found that a few cups of coffee may actually help relieve some of the symptoms for those suffering from the disease.
Parkinson's disease is a condition that attacks the central nervous system, causing sleepiness, shaking, muscle rigidity, and difficulty with movement and coordination. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, about 50,000 to 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease every year.
While there is no known cure, there are some medications that help ease symptoms. And now doctors may want to add caffeine to their list of treatment options. For the study, which was published this week in the journal Neurology, researchers at McGill University gave 61 Parkinson's patients either caffeine pills or a placebo. Patients who received the caffeinated pills got doses roughly equivalent to two to four cups of coffee per day. After six weeks, they found that patients who took the caffeine pills experienced modest improvement of Parkinson's symptoms relating to mobility and muscle rigidity.
Of course, lots more research needs to be done before doctors can say for certain that the caffeine does in fact ease Parkinson's disease symptoms. But this study opens the door to further research in that area and as caffeine is generally safe, this study's researchers think it could be worth trying for some patients with Parkinson's who are having trouble controlling symptoms.