Monday, February 16, 2009

The Effects of Caffeine on the Brain

What's the latest about the effects of caffeine on the brain? You may recall a report in the newsletter a while back about studies which show an increase in academic test scores for students who have a cup of coffee. I have probably also mentioned that too much caffeine, especially once a person is addicted to it, tends to make clear thinking less likely. So is that tea or coffee good for your brainpower or bad for it? Let's take a closer look.

Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it accelerates physiological activity. Specifically, it speeds up the action of your brain and makes you more alert. It does this by binding to adenosine receptors in the brain. Normally the chemical adenosine binds to these, causing drowsiness by slowing down nerve cell activity. The caffeine doesn't have this effect, but does get in the way of the adenosine.

Because the caffeine is blocking the adenosine receptors, your neurons become...

Continued here...

1 comment:

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