The impact of caffeine use across the lifespan on cognitive performance in the elderly
Abstract: Habitual caffeine consumption has often been associated with slowed age related cognitive decline in older adults. However, whether different cognitive processes are preferentially spared as a result of habitual caffeine exposure is unclear. Furthermore, it is unclear whether habitual caffeine consumption patterns based on current consumption or on a lifetime measure is a better for ... read moredetermining the long term effects of caffeine consumption. In the current study we gathered details about older adults' current caffeine consumption patterns as well as details regarding their history of use, including the age in which they initially began consuming caffeine as well subjective measures of amounts of caffeine consumed earlier in life. These data were used in regression models to determine the relationship between caffeine consumption and performance on batteries of cognitive tests. While we found no direct associations between caffeine exposure and cognitive performance, we found that caffeine consumption interacted with participant SES in its association with MMSE scores, and with BMI in its association with inhibitory function and speed of processing. These findings were taken as evidence that caffeine's long-term effect is protective in nature against the insults associated with low SES and high BMI.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisor: Robin Kanarek.
Committee: Ayanna Thomas, Holly Taylor, and Paul Jacques.
Keywords: Cognitive psychology, Physiological psychology, and Psychology.read less