E-Pearl of the Week: Caffeine and Parkinson disease

August 14, 2012


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August 14, 2012

Caffeine and Parkinson disease

Epidemiological studies have shown that caffeine intake is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson disease (PD) in both men and women. Recently, it has been suggested that caffeine disrupts the adenosine–2A receptors which are thought to have a role in neurotoxicity in patients with PD. Furthermore, caffeine may improve some motor and nonmotor aspects of PD as well as increase the bioavailability and prolong the clinical effect of levodopa. Caffeine's principal mechanism of action is antagonism of the adenosine–2A, which is involved in striatopallidal neuronal activity in the indirect pathway.


1. Liu R, Guo X, Park Y, et al. Caffeine intake, smoking, and risk of Parkinson disease in men and women. Am J Epidemiol 2012; 175:1200–1207.
2. Kachroo A, Schwarzschild MA. Adenosine A2A receptor gene disruption protects
in an α–synuclein model of Parkinson's disease. Ann Neurol 2012; 71:278–282.
3. Postuma R, Lang AE, Munhoz RP. et al. Caffeine for treatment of Parkinson disease–A randomized controlled trial, Neurology 2012; 79: 651–658

Submitted by: Chafic Karam, MD

Disclosures: Dr. Karam serves on the editorial team for the Neurology® Resident and Fellow Section.

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