For the first time, a team led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille, found that caffeine has a positive effects on tau deposits in Alzheimer’s disease. The study, part of a German-French research project, was published in the online edition of the journal “Neurobiology of Aging.”
Tau proteins disrupt the communication of the nerve cells in the brain, causing the deterioration associated with Alzheimer’s. Currently, there are no drugs available to prevent this process, but based on the results of Prof. Dr. Christa Müller from the University of Bonn, Dr. David Blum, and their team, a new drug could be developed for a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
For the study, researchers treated genetically altered mice with an A2A antagonist. The mice had an altered tau protein, which without therapy, leads to the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Results showed that the mice treated with the A2A antagonist had better results on memory tests, compared with the control group that only received a placebo. The A2A antagonist showed positive effects in special memory and “an amelioration of the pathogenic processes was demonstrated in the hippocampus, which is the site of memory in rodents.”
Prof. Müller says, “We have taken a good step forward. The results of the study are truly promising, since we were able to show for the first time that A2A adenosine receptor antagonists actually have very positive effects in an animal model simulating hallmark characteristics and progression of the disease. And the adverse effects are minor.”
Further research is needed on other animal models, researchers said, and if results are positive, a trial may follow. “Patience is required until A2A adenosine receptor antagonists are approved as new therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease. But I am optimistic that clinical studies will be performed,” says Prof. Müller.