The balance of caffeinated to decaffeinated beverages is different in unaffected first-degree relatives of essential tremor cases (FD-ET) than controls, a recent study found. Caffeine can exacerbate tremor and FD-ET often have mild, subclinical tremor. This study sought to discover whether relatives of ET cases modify their caffeine consumption before disease onset. Researchers ascertained the patterns of coffee and tea intake using a structured questionnaire, and compared the use in FD-ET to the use in age-matched controls. 3 measures of relative caffeinated coffee + tea to decaffeinated coffee + tea were constructed. There were 263 individuals (190 FD-ET, 73 controls). Caffeine index 1 = (cups of caffeinated coffee + tea) – (cups of decaffeinated coffee + tea) consumed on the day of evaluation. Caffeine index 2 = (cups of caffeinated coffee + tea) – (cups of decaffeinated coffee + tea) consumed in a typical month. They found:
- Caffeine index 1 in FD-ET was less than 1-half that of controls.
- Caffeine index 2 was similarly lower in FD-ET than controls.
- The percentage of coffee and tea that was caffeinated in a typical month was also significantly lower in FD-ET than controls.
Louis ED, Meyers JH, Cristal AD, Factor-Litvak P. Caffeine consumption in first-degree relatives of essential tremor cases: Evidence of dietary modification before disease onset. [Published online ahead of print June 28, 2018]. Neuroedpidemiol. doi:10.1159/000489960.
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