According to a recent study by Swiss scientists, stimulants containing caffeine appear to be able to modify gray matter in the human brain. But the effect appears to be temporary.
Caffeine (or caffeine) is a chemical found in coffee, tea, carbonated drinks like Coca-Cola, … Its main effect is to stimulate the central nervous system and increase arousal, helping them so. However, it is also the cause of sleep disturbances if taken in the evening. Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation can affect the gray matter of the brain. So, can regular caffeine consumption affect the structure of the brain?
The latest research on caffeine has recorded noticeable changes in the amount of gray matter in the brain.
Specifically, scientists including Dr Carolin Reichert and Professor Christian Cajochen of the University of Basel, Switzerland, have said that regular daily consumption of caffeine can lead to changes in the amount of gray matter in the brain.
Gray matter is the part of the central nervous system that is made up primarily of the stem cell of nerve cells, while white matter is primarily nerve pathways, long stretches of nerve cells.
This isn’t the first study to link caffeine to changes in brain structure. Previous studies have left a mystery: Has the structure of the brain changed due to insomnia from caffeine consumption? To answer this question, the study asked 20 young and healthy people to participate. These are the ones who are used to drinking coffee regularly and taking caffeine pills for 10 days.
They will be given caffeine (pills) and caffeine-free tablets (placebo) for 10 days to track changes in the structure of the brain.
After the 10-day period, participants underwent brain scans to assess the amount of gray matter in their brains. They were then instructed not to consume caffeine and to take a placebo for an additional 10 days. Brain scans will continue later.
They also studied the sleep quality of participants in a sleep lab using an electroencephalogram (EEG) method.
Sleep was not affected, but there was a change in gray matter
After collecting data, the researchers found that consuming caffeine did not cause sleep disturbances compared to without caffeine. However, the brain scan still showed “a significant difference in gray matter.” Specifically, the days without caffeine recorded a greater amount of gray matter than the days of caffeine consumption.
According to the study, the largest changes in gray matter volume were seen in the right temporal lobe, including the hippocampus, an area of the brain important for memory consolidation.
However, the change in the structure of the brain appears to be temporary as the amount of gray matter was significantly regenerated in the test subjects after only 10 days without drinking coffee. “The morphological changes in the brain appear to be temporary,” Reichert said. Systematic comparisons between coffee drinkers and those who consume little or no caffeine have so far been flawed. “.
The researchers also noted that this change does not mean that drinks containing caffeine should be avoided.
Dr Carolin Reichert, head of the study, explained: “Our results do not mean that caffeine consumption has a negative effect on the brain. But the daily consumption of caffeine clearly affects our ability to absorb our knowledge and this is the premise for further studies ”.
Reichert said previous studies on the health effects of caffeine had only been done in patients. Therefore, they will need to expand their audience to healthy people.
The research was recently published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.