A study of more than 1,400 Italian seniors finds links between patterns of coffee consumption and their risk for “mild cognitive impairment” — declines in memory and thinking that are often a precursor to dementia. The study could only point to associations, not cause-and-effect, the investigators said. But prior research has suggested that caffeine might impact neurological health. In the study, a team led by Dr. Vincenzo Solfrizzi of the University of Bari Aldo Moro, looked at the coffee consumption of 1,445 Italians aged 65 to 84. The participants’ mental health was also tracked for a median of three-and-a-half years. Reporting earlier this week in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research team found that people who consistently drank about one or two cups of coffee per day had a lower rate of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than those who never or rarely drank the brew. The beneficial association was not found among people whose habitual coffee intake exceeded two cups per day, Solfrizzi’s group added.
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