Higher Levels Of Caffeine in Blood May  Pave Way For Parkinson's : Study 

People suffering from Parkinson's disease have a significantly lower level of caffeine in their blood as compared to people not affected by the disease, even if the consumed amount of caffeine is same.

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Higher Levels Of Caffeine in Blood May Pave Way For Parkinson's : Study
The caffeine levels in the blood may help play a determining role in detecting Parkinson's disease, says a new study. Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system. According to the study published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, people suffering from Parkinson's disease have a significantly lower level of caffeine in their blood as compared to people not affected by the disease, even if the consumed amount of caffeine is same.

While there have been several studies in the past which has shown the link between caffeine and a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, not many have shown how caffeine metabolises within the people with the disease and its ramifications, said the researchers.
For the study, the team analysed 108 people who had had Parkinson's for an average of about six years and 31 people of the same age group who did not have the disease. The blood of these participants was tested for caffeine and for 11 by-products the body makes as it metabolises caffeine. Further, they were also tested for mutations in genes that can affect caffeine metabolism.
The findings indicated that people with more severe stages of Parkinson's did not have lower levels of caffeine in their blood, which points to the fact that the decrease only occurred in the earliest stages of the disease.
The scientists think that the findings are path-breaking as it is difficult to diagnose Parkinson's especially at the early stages. If the results can be confirmed, they would point to an easy test for early diagnosis of Parkinson's. 

For the study the coffee consumption of the group was monitored to the same amount with an average equivalent of about two cups of coffee per day. 
The findings stated that people with Parkinson's had lower caffeine and 11 by-product levels in their blood. The caffeine level was an average of 79 picomoles per 10 microlitres for people without Parkinson's disease, compared to 24 picomoles per 10 microlitres for people with the disease. For one of the by-products, the level was below the amount that could be detected in more than 50 per cent of the people with Parkinson's disease.
The test could prove detrimental to identify people suffering from the disease, with a score of 0.98 where a score of 1 means that all cases are identified correctly, in statistical analysis, the researchers said. 

The genetic analysis conducted on the group went to reveal that there were no differences in caffeine-related genes between the two groups.
However the study had its limitations too. The study did not take into account people with severe Parkinson's disease, hence threatening the ability to detect an association between severity and caffeine levels. People with Parkinson's were also taking Parkinson's medication and it could be a possibility that these drugs could affect the metabolism of caffeine.
 


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