Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Emily Walak Essays (1231 words) - Medicine, Clinical Medicine

Emily Walak DSP 350 Dr. Thompson Final Paper DATE \@ "d MMMM yyyy" 20 April 2018 The Effects of Caffeine Caffeine is a drug that can be found in seeds, nuts, and leaves in a number of plants in South America and East Asia. It dates as far back as the Stone Age when, some anthropologists believe, the first caffeinated beverage could have been created, based on cave drawings. People use caffeine for many things; including suppressing appetite, protecting against common diseases or even some cancers, and of course, staying awake when tired. Whether one is drinking green tea or an espresso, they are ingesting caffeine. The safest average dose of caffeine is about 400 mg per day. That is about three 8 oz cups of coffee, five 8 oz Red Bulls, or eight 8 oz cups of black tea. On the flip side, caffeine becomes toxic at about 10 grams, which is about 75 cups of coffee. That's a lot of coffee. Caffeine has many positive side effects when taken in moderation, however one must be careful because caffeine can also lead to excessive overuse, dependence, and unwanted negative side effects. To understand the full effect of caffeine, one must understand what happens in the brain when caffeine is ingested. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that slows down cellular activity. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, which means there is no slow down of activity. Since the nerve cells are stimulated, they release adrenaline. The adrenaline release increases levels of dopamine. Overall, caffeine's effect on the brain is a feeling of alertness, a boost in physical energy, and a feeling of pleasure. Fredholm, Battig, Holmen, Nehlig, and Zvartau, (1999) write about this in the article "Actions of Caffeine in the Brain with Special Reference to Factors that Contribute to its Widespread Use." In this article there are studies done to try to explain why people ingest caffeine based on its different effects on the brain. He concludes that people ingest caffeine to increase motor behavior, improve mood, increase information processing and performance, delay the onset of sleep, and elevate clear-headedness under conditions of pain (Fredholm et al., 1999, p. 83). Xu, Xu, Chen, and Schwarzschild (2010) pose another article that reports on the positive effects of caffeine. Xu et al. present the research supporting the claim that caffeine intake reduces the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. In this study, experiments performed on mice using different metabolites found in caffeine show that caffeine has a neuroprotective effect on the mouse model of Parkinson's disease when administered in the right conditions (Xu et al., 2010, p. 475-481). That's not all, however. Lipton et al. (2008) write about another instance when caffeine is used to help people. Lipton et al. conducted a study on patients suffering from migraines, who met the international Headache Society's criteria for migraines. They tested the effectiveness of the combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine in reducing migraine occurrences and symptoms. The conclusion of the study is that the combin ation of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine is highly effective. It not only treats migraine headache pain, but it also alleviates common symptoms associated with migraine attacks in a safe way. Caffeine is a huge reason why the combination is so successful (Lipton et al., 2008). These are only a few of the ways that caffeine helps people functionally and medically. All of these are positive side effects of caffeine when taken in moderation. Ingesting too much caffeine will have very different effects. Everything is good in moderation, especially caffeine, however overuse of caffeine can cause serious side effects as well as dependence. The article "Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda" by Meredith, Juliano, Hughes, and Griffiths (2013) reviewed literature that showed evidence of the behavioral and physiological effects of caffeine that were similar to the effects of other drugs of dependence. Some of these effects were subjective effects, reinforcement, conditioned taste preference, withdrawal, and tolerance. They also reviewed clinical evidence for caffeine use disorder. This evidence included the DSM-IV Substance Dependence criteria applied to caffeine. The three criteria they looked at were the: (1) persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control caffeine use, (2) continued caffeine use despite knowledge of having a persistent or

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