Coffee consumption may influence hippocampal volume in young women
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- Perlaki, G., Orsi, G., Kovacs, N. et al. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2011) 5: 274. doi:10.1007/s11682-011-9131-6
Caffeine is the most often used psychoactive substance. Caffeine may influence neuroplasticity in animals. We investigated the relationship between caffeine intake (coffee consumption) and brain morphology. Forty-five healthy, non-smoking women aged 19–30 were included in the present study. We used semi-automatic user-independent MR volumetry and voxel-based morphometry. We investigated the relationship between caffeine intake (coffee consumption) and the volumes of the cortical brain structures where caffeine is supposed to act. We found that high-level and low-level caffeine intake was associated with a larger hippocampus compared to moderate-level caffeine intake. The other brain structures showed no association with coffee consumption or caffeine intake. The U-shape association between caffeine concentration and its effect has already been described in some experimental studies. To our knowledge this is one of the very first studies, which tries to find an association between brain morphology and coffee consumption or caffeine intake in humans using MR imaging.