Parkinson's Caffeine Connection?

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Story Updated: Aug 3, 2012

A cup of coffee may be a good morning pick-me-up for Parkinson's patients who are experiencing motor control issues.

Researchers in Montreal followed 61 diagnosed Parkinson's patients over a 6-week period. 30 were given caffeine pills twice a day the other 31 were given a placebo.

The results , just published in the journal, Neurology, show that caffeine helps Parkinson's patients with motor function. though it does little to improve sleepiness, which is another symptom of the disease.

The caffeine group averaged a three-point improvement in the speed of their movements and reported less stiffness.

Studies have shown that people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson's, but this is one of the first studies to show that caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease. I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.