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Coffee for Chemo Brain?

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Coffee for chemo brain? I’ve been struggling with chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction aka chemo brain since I completed active therapy for my cancer in 1997.

Over the years, I’ve figured out a number of therapies to improve my chemo brain to a point where I live a pretty normal quality of life.

But here’s the thing. Of all the non-conventional therapies I do to enhance my brain health, therapies such as:

  • nutrition
  • supplementation
  • lifestyle therapies

it is daily brain games, a product called Posit Science- Brain HQ to be specific, where I notice that I need to take my daily course of brain games, each and every morning to feel that my cognitive function is 100%. Some of the brain games have enhanced specific brain functions more than I was previously and some less. For example, the facial recognition games have improved my name recall dramatically.

Where does coffee come in?

BrainHQ sends me my little brain game workout every morning. If I play the games in the morning after I have had my morning coffee, I do well when playing the games. If I wait until the end of the day, I don’t do so well.

We used to call it “sundowning” when we visited my mom in assisted living late in the day.

The study about coffee explains what, why, how, etc. my morning coffee helps me ace my brain games in the morning.

Are you a cancer survivor experiencing chemo brain? What symptoms do you experience? Do you drink coffee? Do you think it helps?

Scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Coffee’s Brain-Boosting Effect Goes Beyond Caffeine

“Coffee’s ability to boost alertness is commonly attributed to caffeine, but new research suggests there may be other underlying mechanisms that explain this effect.

“There is a widespread anticipation that coffee boosts alertness and psychomotor performance. By gaining a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying this biological phenomenon, we pave the way for investigating the factors that can influence it and even exploring the potential advantages of those mechanisms…”

Caffeine Can’t Take All the Credit

Certain compounds in coffee, including caffeine and chlorogenic acids, have well-documented psychoactive effects, but the psychological impact of coffee/caffeine consumption as a whole remains a matter of debate…

To tease out the specific impact of caffeinated coffee intake, 30 habitual coffee drinkers (mean age, 32; 27 women) were given hot water containing the same amount of caffeine, but they were not given coffee…

Both drinking coffee and drinking plain caffeine in water led to a decrease in functional connectivity of the brain’s default mode network, which is typically active during self-reflection in resting states.

This finding suggests that consuming either coffee or caffeine heightened individuals’ readiness to transition from a state of rest to engaging in task-related activities, the researchers note.

However, drinking a cup of coffee also boosted connectivity in the higher visual network and the right executive control network, which are linked to working memory, cognitive control, and goal-directed behavior ― something that did not occur from drinking caffeinated water.

“Put simply, individuals exhibited a heightened state of preparedness, being more responsive and attentive to external stimuli after drinking coffee…”

Given that some of the effects of coffee also occurred with caffeine alone, it’s “plausible to assume that other caffeinated beverages may share similar effects,” she added.

Still, certain effects were specific to coffee drinking, “likely influenced by factors such as the distinct aroma and taste of coffee or the psychological expectations associated with consuming this particular beverage…”

The investigators report that the observations could provide a scientific foundation for the common belief that coffee increases alertness and cognitive functioning. Further research is needed to differentiate the effects of caffeine from the overall experience of drinking coffee…”

Acute Effects of Coffee Consumption on Health among Ambulatory Adults

“BACKGROUND- Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world, but the acute health effects of coffee consumption remain uncertain…

CONCLUSION- In this randomized trial, the consumption of caffeinated coffee did not result in significantly more daily premature atrial contractions than the avoidance of caffeine. (Funded by the University of California, San Francisco, and the National Institutes of Health; CRAVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03671759. opens in new tab.)”



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