UNCG undergraduate biology researcher John McCormick — guided by UNCG professor Zhenquan Jia in the molecular toxicology lab — determined that people who consume more coffee are less likely to develop Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. (We’ll drink to that!)
Previous studies have found that many people with neurodegenerative diseases have high concentrations of a molecule called peroxynitrite — a free radical — in their neural cells. Those higher levels may cause neural cell damage that characterize Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
McCormick recently demonstrated that caffeine — an antioxidant — specifically scavenges peroxynitrite molecules before they can damage DNA. Their research results will be published, encouraging novel treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.