HEALTH

Caffeine boosts memory, Johns Hopkins researchers say

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ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA/ABC) - Go ahead, have that second cup of coffee. It may just boost your brain power.

A new study says caffeine is a proven memory booster, but it's really about much you drink and when you drink it.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University tested 160 people who do not consume caffeine on a regular basis. After showing them a series of images, half got a placebo pill and half got a caffeine pill. Twenty-four hours later, those who had caffeine were better at detecting subtle differences in the images.

Researchers also looked at the dose of caffeine, finding that 200 mg had the memory effect, which is the equivalent of about 2 cups of coffee. But going up to 300 mg did not help.

"(It) suggests that it strengthens memories and prevents them from being forgotten," study author Dr. Michael Yassa said.

This new research only tested the participants one day later. It's not clear how much they'll remember six months later.

Regular coffee drinkers in the D.C. area, for the most part, hailed the findings as totally true in their personal lives.

"It definitely makes me sharper," coffee drinker Collene McMurrer said. "I can see it in my personal life."

The study certainly piqued the interest of most everybody at Arlington's Northside Social.

"It does stimulate activity in your mind and body, so I definitely believe it can aid in that process," coffee enthusiast Kahlil Minor said.

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