Coffee Reveals Itself as an Unlikely Elixir

For a historically mistrusted drink, coffee is proving to be a healthy addiction. Scientific findings in support of coffee’s nutritional attributes have been arriving at a steady drip since the 1980s, when Norwegian researchers reported that coffee seemed to fend off liver disease. Since then, the dark brown beverage has shown value against liver cancer, too, as well as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Coffee even appears to protect against depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Source: Coffee reveals itself as an unlikely elixir

It was only last week that I had news about coffee screwing with your internal clock, along with mentioning the following:

A New Kind of Brain Stimulation that Uses Magnets and … Spice

It’s time for a shake-up. There is a new way to stimulate a brain using tiny vibrating particles, and it was inspired by the proteins that let us taste spicy foods.

The technique is a twist on deep brain stimulation, which involves sticking electrodes into the brain to deliver rapid pulses of weak current. Such stimulation has shown promise for treating a range of disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. But the need to open up someone’s head to implant electrodes has made it a less than appealing treatment option.

Source: Vibrating magnetic balls stimulate brain wirelessly

I’d make Dune references, but they aren’t relevant.  I’m all for working, non-invasive treatments – I hope this works out.

Price of Medication Impacts Efficacy

Just like the old Gypsy woman said!  Kidding – just like the buffet

In a recent study, an “expensive” salt solution was shown to to be significantly more effective at managing the symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease than an “inexpensive” one. The salt solutions were identical placebos.

Source: For Patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Expensive Placebo Works Better

Placebo effects mostly operate on highly subjective symptoms like pain, nausea, mental performance (i.e. coordination, mental acuity, alertness, mood etc). It also has some effect in temporarily boosting immunity, as it has long been determined that stress influences it. And when the patients have been told that they are on placebos, the effect rapidly reverses.

Also, there is the fact that only 30% of the population is susceptible to placebo effects. And the effectiveness of placebos are highly overblown in the lay literature.

Drinking Beer Could ‘Help Fight Dementia’

A new study has found that beer could help prevent degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Chinese researchers discovered that a chemical in hops – the plant used to make beer – could protect brain cells from oxidative stress that causes dementia.

Source: Fancy A Pint? Drinking Beer Could ‘Help Fight Dementia’

The testing was only on rats to date, and researchers stress that a pint a day will not stave off the condition.  You need at least three… 😉

Reminder: Alcohol is addictive, laden with empty calories, and socially complex. Be careful™.