16:09 14 March 2017
A new study has found that aside from waking you up in the morning, caffeine can also boost the power of an enzyme, called NMNAT2, in the brain to protect you against the debilitating effects of dementia.
Researchers from the Indiana University Bloomington hope that the study can help slow down the progress of the degenerating disease, which currently affects 47.5 million people worldwide.
NMNAT2 has been previously found to provide protection against stress and to combat misfolded proteins that accumulate in the brain due to ageing.
Misfolded proteins have been linked to several disorders including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Lead author Professor Hui-Chen Lu, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University, said: 'Increasing our knowledge about the pathways in the brain that appear to naturally cause the decline of this necessary protein is equally as important as identifying compounds that could play a role in future treatment of these debilitating mental disorders,'
'This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this enzyme in the brain, creating a chemical 'blockade' against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders.'