Caffeine may be able to prevent the memory and learning problems that are caused by poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, shows a new University of Coimbra study. Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes can lead to neurodegenerative diseases similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as toxic levels of sugar in the blood damage nerves, blood vessels, and the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for learning and memory. In experiments comparing type 2 diabetic and normal mice, the researchers found that caffeine consumption equivalent to eight cups of coffee a day reduced weight and blood sugar levels and prevented memory loss in type 2 diabetic mice. In studying the brains of the type 2 diabetic mice that did not receive caffeine, the researchers found abnormalities in their hippocampus, whereas type 2 diabetic mice that received caffeine did not have abnormalities in their hippocampus. Because the dose of caffeine in the study is excessive for daily use, the researchers are trying to design drugs that would deliver similar benefits without caffeine’s negative side effects. However, moderate amounts of caffeine may confer moderate benefits to people with type 2 diabetes.