A slew of just-published articles (click! click! click! click! click!) describe a new research study which found that people with early-stage Parkinson’s who drink two cups of coffee a day have less caffeine in their blood (as well as fewer metabolites – which are byproducts of the metabolization of caffeine) than non-Parkies who drank the same amount.
The important implication seems to be that doctors could use a caffeine-in-the-blood test to diagnose Parkinson’s at an early stage – before other PD symptoms occur.
But questions remain, and the results need to be replicated and verified through additional experiments. For one thing, the current study did not investigate whether the anti-Parkinson’s medicine(s) the participants were taking influenced whether the body was absorbing caffeine into the blood. Additionally, people who have had PD for many years and have severely compromised health conditions were not included in the study.
And to my way of thinking, I’d want to know if drinking more than two cups a day would be helpful in combating the disease. I currently drink around ten cups of strong coffee a day (cold brewed overnight in a French press – it’s delicious!). Besides making me feel perky, am I matching the caffeine levels in my blood with everyone who doesn’t have PD?