Coffee, wine and chocolate are three frequently consumed substances with a significant impact on cognition. In order to define the structural and cerebral blood flow correlates of self-reported consumption of coffee, wine and chocolate in old age, we assessed cognition and brain MRI measures in 145 community-based elderly individuals with preserved cognition (69 to 86 years). Based on two neuropsychological assessments during a 3-year follow-up, individuals were classified into stable-stable (52 sCON), intermediate (61 iCON) and deteriorating-deteriorating (32 dCON). MR imaging included voxel-based morphometry (VBM), tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and arterial spin labelling (ASL). Concerning behavior, moderate consumption of caffeine was related to better cognitive outcome. In contrast, increased consumption of wine was related to an unfavorable cognitive evolution. Concerning MRI, we observed a negative correlation of wine and VBM in bilateral deep white matter (WM) regions across all individuals, indicating less WM lesions. Only in sCON individuals, we observed a similar yet weaker association with caffeine. Moreover, again only in sCON individuals, we observed a significant positive correlation between ASL and wine in overlapping left parietal WM indicating better baseline brain perfusion. In conclusion, the present observations demonstrate an inverse association of wine and coffee consumption with cognitive performances. Moreover, low consumption of wine but also moderate to heavy coffee drinking was associated with better WM preservation and cerebral blood-flow notably in cognitively stable elders.
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