Coffee, wine and chocolate are three frequently consumed substances with a significant impact on cognition. In order to define the structural and cerebral blood flow correlates of self-reported consumption of coffee, wine and chocolate in old age, researchers assessed cognition and brain MRI measures in 145 community-based elderly individuals with preserved cognition (aged 69 - 86 years).
Based on two neuropsychological assessments during a 3-year follow-up, individuals were classified as stable (52 sCON), intermediate (61 iCON) and deteriorating conditions (32 dCON). MR imaging included voxel-based morphometry (VBM), tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and arterial spin labelling (ASL).
Concerning behaviour, moderate consumption of caffeine was related to better cognitive outcome, but increased consumption of wine was related to an unfavourable cognitive evolution. In the MRI, the researchers observed a negative correlation of wine and VBM in bilateral deep white matter regions across all individuals, indicating less white matter lesions. A similar yet weaker association with caffeine was observed only in stable individuals. Moreover, again only in stable individuals, a significant positive correlation between ASL and wine in overlapping left parietal white matter was observed indicating better baseline brain perfusion.
In conclusion, the present observations demonstrate an inverse (protective effect) association of wine and coffee consumption with cognitive performances. Moreover, low consumption of wine but also moderate to heavy coffee drinking was associated with better WM preservation and cerebral blood-flow notably in cognitively stable elders. Source: Impact of Coffee, Wine, and Chocolate Consumption on Cognitive Outcome and MRI Parameters in Old Age. Haller S, Montandon ML, Rodriguez C, Herrmann FR, Giannakopoulos P. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 1;10(10). pii: E1391. doi. org/10.3390/nu10101391.