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Can Coffee Be A Medicine?

April 29, 2022   Return


We love coffee for so many reasons, the chief of which is its ability to keep us awake on long haul drives and boring meetings. However, coffee aficionados like yours truly will be pleased to know that it can save lives as well! A recent case study involving a rare, untreatable disease and coffee was recently making its rounds in the medical scene. It involves a child with a condition known as dyskinesia, a disease where the person has impaired or involuntary movements.

Back to the case, an 11-year old French boy with dyskinesia, who was on long-term coffee ‘treatment,’ suddenly began to exhibit symptoms after his parents switched coffee types. His symptoms became worse and got to the point where he had to be brought to the doctor’s clinic for monitoring. After 4 days of agonizing tics and twitches, the parents finally realized their error—they had purchased decaffeinated coffee instead of the usual good stuff! When they switched back to regular coffee, their son’s symptoms quickly diminished, and life returned to normal.

The boy’s case isn’t the only instance where coffee helped sufferers of dyskinesia. Another case study involving a father and daughter also demonstrated caffeine as a potent treatment for dyskinesia. Both the father and daughter would take a cup of coffee before bed to prevent involuntary movements during sleep.

According to the lead author of the case study, the boy’s case represents an accidental double- blind placebo trial, which is the most rigorous test available to test for the efficacy of a medication. In this case, it proves without a doubt that caffeine is useful in treating dyskinesia


Dyskinesia is usually prevalent in Parkinson’s disease sufferers on a medication called levodopa. It can also arise as a result of mutations to the ADCY5 gene, a gene which is linked to the production of energy for cells and also signaling. There is no cure for the condition and no effective treatment.

In both these highlighted cases, caffeine found in coffee helped alleviate dyskinesia symptoms where other medications couldn’t.

Bear in mind, though, if you don’t have dyskinesia overconsumption of coffee can give you tremors. HT

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