Caffeine shakes up growing mouse brains | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Caffeine shakes up growing mouse brains

When pregnant rodents consumed the stimulant, offspring had altered neurons, faulty memory

2:39pm, August 7, 2013

View the video

Pregnant mice buzzed on caffeine gave birth to pups with brain changes and lasting memory deficits, a new study shows. The results, published August 7 in Science Translational Medicine, leave unclear whether caffeine causes a similar effect in people.

The study convincingly shows that caffeine changes the brains of exposed pups, says child neurologist Barry Kosofsky of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. But he cautions that mouse and human brains develop very differently, so direct comparisons are impossible. The study has no immediate message for pregnant women, Kosofsky says. “We are totally at a loss about what to say for caffeine.”

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News