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Caffeine Affects Brain Structure

Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance. Researchers from the University of Basel have now shown in a study that regular Caffeine intake can change the gray matter of the brain. That change appears to be temporary.

The researchers found that Caffeine did not result in poor sleep. They observed changes in the gray matter, as they report in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Gray matter refers to the parts of the central nervous system made up of the cell bodies of nerve cells, while white matter mainly comprises the neural pathways, the long extensions of the nerve cells.

A group of 20 healthy young individuals who regularly drink coffee daily, participated in the study. They were given tablets to take over two 10-day periods and were asked not to consume any other Caffeine during this time. During one study period, they received tablets with Caffeine content; in the other, tablets with no active ingredient. At the end of each 10 days, the researchers examined the volume of the subjects’ gray matter through brain scans. They also examined the participants’ sleep quality in the sleep laboratory by documenting the electrical activity of the brain.

It appears to reduce the volume of gray matter, after just 10 days of coffee abstinence it had significantly regenerated in the test subjects. Dr Carolin Reichert Said that the changes in brain morphology seem to be temporary, but systematic comparisons between coffee drinkers and those who usually consume little or no Caffeine have so far been lacking. But daily consumption affects our cognitive hardware, which in itself should give rise to further studie

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