British Coffee Association - Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are debilitating illnesses which have a dramatic effect on an individual’s quality of life, particularly (though not exclusively) in the later years of life. Alzheimer’s disease alone affects one in ten Briton’s over the age of 85.

Elderly woman enjoying a cup of coffeeResearch has demonstrated that coffee drinking may help reduce cognitive decline in men and women 1,2. In particular, an area of research that has attracted considerable interest of late is that of the effect of coffee/caffeine consumption on degenerative brain disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

The available evidence demonstrates that coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease 3,4,5,6,7 and is inversely and significantly associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s disease 8,9,10.

A study published in 2009 on 1409 individuals demonstrated a 65 – 70% decreased risk of dementia and a 62 – 64% decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in participants who consumed three to five cups of coffee a day during midlife, compared with those who consumed two or less cups of coffee a day 4.


The weight of evidence strongly shows that coffee drinking is not associated with an increased risk of developing either Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

1. van Gelder BM et al. Coffee consumption is inversely associated with cognitive decline in elderly European men: the FINE Study.2007; Eur J Clin Nutr;61:226-32.
2. Wu MS et al. Socio-demographic and health-related factors associated with cognitive impairment in the elderly in Taiwan. BMC Public Health, 2011;11:22.
3. Costa J et al. Caffeine exposure and the risk of Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. J Alzheimers Dis;20 Suppl 1:S221-38, 2010.
4. Morelli M et al. Adenosine A2A receptors and Parkinson’s disease. Handb Exp Pharmacol, 2009;193:589-615.
5. Ascherio A et al. Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. Ann Neurol, 2001;50:56-63.
6. Ross GW et al. Association of coffee and caffeine intake with the risk of Parkinson disease. JAMA, 2000; 283:2674.
7. Fall PA et al. Nutritional and occupational factors influencing the risk of Parkinson’s disease: a case-control study in southeastern Sweden. Mov Disord, 1999; 14:28-37.
8. Gelber RP et al. Coffee intake in midlife and risk of dementia and its neuropathologic correlates. J Alzheimers Dis, 2011;23:607-15.
9. Eskelinen MH et al. Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia: a population-based CAIDE study. J Alzheimers Dis, 2009;16:85-91.
10. Wostyn P et al. Increased Cerebrospinal Fluid Production as a Possible Mechanism Underlying Caffeine’s Protective Effect against Alzheimer’s Disease. Int J Alzheimers Dis, 2011:617420.