Plenty of people feel they can’t start the day without their morning coffee. Good news for them, new research suggests the caffeine in coffee can actually increase the motor functions in seniors with Parkinson’s disease. Researchers already knew caffeine could lower the risks of getting Parkinson’s in the first place, but they didn’t know it could also relieve symptoms of those who already have PD.
A study was conducted with a group of people who had Parkinson’s disease. Half of them were given caffeine pills, and the other half was given placebos. Those who took caffeine pills showed improvement in the speed of their movements after a few weeks. Those who took caffeine were also able to wave their hands and move their heads side-to-side more quickly than those who took placebos. Essentially, the caffeine increased response time and alertness in those who otherwise have sluggish movements and slow response times.
Seniors with Parkinson’s often report rigidity in their motor functions, and say their limbs almost feel robotic when moving. Those who took caffeine pills during the study said their limbs felt more limber, and the movements they made felt more natural and effortless. Reduced rigidity means seniors who receive Parkinson’s home care in Grand Rapids might require less assistance with certain everyday tasks and begin to feel increased independence.
Research is ongoing, and at the moment, researchers don’t feel they have quite enough evidence to recommend caffeine as a treatment on its own. However, given the benefits of caffeine, overall caffeine intake and caffeine supplements are something worthwhile to discuss with your senior and his or her physician as part of an overall treatment plan. Keep in mind, people often develop a level of tolerance to caffeine after long-term use.
Provide your loved one the assistance and support they need to maintain a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s. With Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance, you can count on trained and compassionate caregivers who can help your loved one with everything from bathing and grooming to cooking and light cleaning. Learn more about the services available near you by calling (616) 243-0835 today.