Another study about the effects of caffeine on the human brain was published this week by Cerebral Cortex – a popular academic journal found in the magazine rack next to every neuroscientist’s crapper.
The focus of this new study – one of MANY over the years that will be completely ignored by the general public – was to specifically investigate the effects of caffeine on gray matter volume in young people.
Hot Tip: Our brain and central nervous system are composed of both gray and white matter. Gray matter consists of neural cell bodies and nerve synapses, while white matter is primarily the bundles and pathways that connect those neural cells.
At least that’s what I plagiarized from a report on the study in New Atlas.
Basically, Gray matter is the stuff that helps make you smart. The less you have, the more likely you are to agree with asinine statements by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Prior research has indicated caffeine consumption may be associated with acute reductions in gray matter volume,” writes New Atlas. “But other research has also suggested caffeine could confer neuroprotective effects, slowing the cognitive decline associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
In other words, the rules about coffee’s effect on your body are constantly changing. Same deal with eggs.
Here’s what the study said:
Twenty subjects were recruited and tasked with two blinded 10-day programs. One period involved taking three tablets of caffeine each day and the other period involved placebo tablets. At the end of each program the participants’ gray matter volume was measured through fMRI, and slow-wave sleep activity was measured through EEG.
The results revealed significant reductions in gray matter after 10 days of caffeine. These reductions were not seen after 10 days of placebo. And even more importantly, the study found no difference in slow-wave sleep activity between the placebo and caffeine periods. This suggests the gray matter reductions detected are not related to sleep disruptions but perhaps a unique feature of caffeine.
The effect of caffeine on the brain was noted as particularly relevant in the right medial temporal lobe. This area of the brain includes the hippocampus and is responsible for processes such as memory formation and spatial cognition.
Bottom Line: Caffeine reduces gray matter in the brain, but it doesn’t have an effect on your sleep.
We at the Hammer and Nigel Show chose to celebrate this latest study with the bold taste of Senka and an all-new hit single from our record label.