News Release

Monday, June 18, 2012
Media Contact: Elizabeth Laur, (414) 276-2145,
MDS Press Room: Convention Centre Dublin, Wicklow Meeting Room 2b, Level 2

Note to media: See abstract 421

Caffeine demonstrates potential benefits for treatment of Parkinson's disease

DUBLIN – A study evaluating the use of caffeine to treat motor effects in Parkinson’s disease was presented today at the 16th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

Previous studies have consistently demonstrated caffeine to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the effects of caffeine in Parkinson’s patients have yet to be adequately evaluated.

Dr. Ron B. Postuma and colleagues at Montreal General Hospital conducted a six-week randomized controlled trial of caffeine in 61 Parkinson’s patients to assess the effects upon excessive daytime somnolence, motor severity and other non-motor symptoms. While only providing borderline improvement in excessive somnolence, the study did show caffeine to improve objective motor measures, which suggests that a long term investigation of caffeine is warranted.

Prof. K. Ray Chaudhuri, of Kings College Hospital, London, states “This randomized placebo controlled study of caffeine is a significant step forward in establishing evidence base for treatment of non-motor symptoms and excessive daytime somnolence in Parkinson’s. The study is well performed and although, the primary outcome measure of Epworth (Sleepiness Scale) is not significantly altered, there is an emerging signal of improving somnolence on clinical global impression with additional improvements in motor state. In clinical practice this translates to experience of beneficial effect of caffeine in patients with excessive daytime somnolence. This highly needed study should pave the way for a large scale multicenter international study addressing effect of caffeine in the treatment of EDS and related complaints in Parkinson’s disease.”

About the 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 4,500 physicians and medical professionals from 80 countries will be able to view over 1,600 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About The Movement Disorder Society
The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit