The effect of daily caffeine use on cerebral blood flow: How much caffeine can we tolerate?

Merideth A. Addicott, Lucie L. Yang, Ann M. Peiffer, Luke R. Burnett, Jonathan H. Burdette, Michael Y. Chen, Satoru Hayasaka, Robert A. Kraft, Joseph A Maldjian, Paul J. Laurienti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

Caffeine is a commonly used neurostimulant that also produces cerebral vasoconstriction by antagonizing adenosine receptors. Chronic caffeine use results in an adaptation of the vascular adenosine receptor system presumably to compensate for the vasoconstrictive effects of caffeine. We investigated the effects of caffeine on cerebral blood flow (CBF) in increasing levels of chronic caffeine use. Low (mean = 45 mg/day), moderate (mean 5 405 mg/day), and high (mean 5 950 mg/day) caffeine users underwent quantitative perfusion magnetic resonance imaging on four separate occasions: twice in a caffeine abstinent state (abstained state) and twice in a caffeinated state following their normal caffeine use (native state). In each state, there were two drug conditions: participants received either caffeine (250 mg) or placebo. Gray matter CBF was tested with repeated-measures analysis of variance using caffeine use as a between-subjects factor, and correlational analyses were conducted between CBF and caffeine use. Caffeine reduced CBF by an average of 27% across both caffeine states. In the abstained placebo condition, moderate and high users had similarly greater CBF than low users; but in the native placebo condition, the high users had a trend towards less CBF than the low and moderate users. Our results suggest a limited ability of the cerebrovascular adenosine system to compensate for high amounts of daily caffeine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3102-3114
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Volume30
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Keywords

  • Caffeine
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Chronic drug use
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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