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Abstract

THE EFFECT OF EVERYDAY CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION ON REPORTS OF ATTENTION AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE IN DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS: A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

Dominic P. Nguyen-Van-Tam PhD and Andrew P. Smith PhD*

Abstract

Research suggests that caffeine consumption may be associated with a reduction in cognitive impairment in the elderly. This topic was investigated by examining associations between regular caffeine consumption and subjective reports of attention and memory problems across different age groups. One hundred volunteers completed a survey which recorded caffeine consumption and subjective memory (the Everyday Memory Questionnaire [EMQ]; the Subjective Memory Questionnaire [SMQ]) and attention (the Everyday Attention Questionnaire {EAQ]). The analyses showed no statistically significant correlations between daily caffeine intake and either measure of memory performance (the SMQ or EMQ). There was, however, a weak but statistically significant correlation between daily caffeine consumption and the measure of subjective attention (the EAQ), with, as might be expected, high caffeine consumption being associated with better performance. In younger and middle-aged people, there were no significant associations between daily caffeine consumption and subjective cognitive performance, but in the group aged 55 years and older high daily caffeine consumption was associated with better everyday attention and memory performance (as measured by the EAQ and SMQ). These results from the older participants suggest further investigation, possibly using objective memory tests that would also enable acute effects of caffeine to be separated from long-term effects.

Keywords: Caffeine, age, memory, attention, habitual caffeine consumption, subjective questionnaire [EAQ].memory questionnaire [SMQ], everyday memory questionnaire [EMQ], everyday attention


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