Cool Beans

Don’t even THINK about talking to me before I’ve had my fifth cup of coffee!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

We all have a coffee addict in our lives. Maybe YOU’RE one! Some people just can’t go a day without that bitter bean juice. But how does caffeine actually affect our brains?

Isabel Paiva from the University of Strasbourg and team investigated! 

The team gave mice caffeine-infused water for two weeks… and had them navigate a maze. They also analyzed genetic material from parts of the brain dealing with learning and memory. Then they compared the caffeinated mice to their non-caffeinated buddies. 

Results? Caffeinated mice had an easier time navigating the maze. Why? Genetic analysis showed changes in their gene-activity patterns! They made less digestive proteins. But their brain cells signaled more to each other. 

This research suggests caffeine alters brain activity – making it easier for us to form memories!

Now that’s some BREW-tiful science! Makes me jittery…Must have more coffee!

Reference: Paiva, I., Cellai, L., Meriaux, C., Poncelet, L., Nebie, O., Saliou, J. M., Lacoste, A. S., Papegaey, A., Drobecq, H., Le Gras, S., Schneider, M., Malik, E. M., Müller, C. E., Faivre, E., Carvalho, K., Gomez-Murcia, V., Vieau, D., Thiroux, B., Eddarkaoui, S., Lebouvier, T., Schueller, E., Tzeplaeff, L., Grgurina, I., Seguin, J., Stauber, J., Lopez, L. V., Buee, L., Buée-Scherrer, V., Cunha, R. A., Ait-Belkacem, R., Sergeant, N., Annicotte, J-S., Boutillier, A-L., Blum, D. (2022). Caffeine intake exerts dual genome-wide effects on hippocampal metabolism and learning-dependent transcription. Journal of Clinical Investigation.