The healthful effects of coffee are far-reaching, to the point that every time a new benefit is found, I have to scour old articles (that I’ve written) to see if Sprudge has already reported on it. One of these benefits is coffee’s ability to prevent Parkinson’s disease (Sprudge has NOT reported on that. But here we are, doing it now. Coffee prevents Parkinson’s. You’re welcome). And a new study shows that drinking coffee may also help with the early identification of the disease.

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The findings come from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo. Led by Nobutaka Hattori, a group of researchers found that how the body processes coffee—specifically caffeine and caffeine byproduct serum levels—may be used as a biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease, which could lead to earlier detection. Surveying 139 people, both men and women with and without the disease, researchers analyzed the blood serum of the participants for caffeine and “its 11 so-called downstream metabolites — small molecules produced during caffeine-induced metabolic processes in the human body.”

They found, according to a press release, that “the serum levels of caffeine and of almost all metabolites, including theophylline, theobromine and paraxanthine — caffeine’s main byproducts — were lower in patients with Parkinson’s disease.” The researchers do note that concentrations of caffeine and its byproducts aren’t indicative of the severity of the disease.

So drink up, everyone. Not only does coffee prevent Parkinson’s, it may just help doctor’s identify the disease during its earlier stages.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

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