HealthDay News — Patients who consume multiple cups of coffee every day may have a decreased risk of developing multiple sclerosis, results two studies being presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology indicate.

“Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases, and our study shows that coffee intake may also protect against multiple sclerosis (MS), supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain,” said Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, in an association press release.

The findings come from two separate study groups: a Swedish group that included 1,629 adults with MS and 2,807 without the disease, and a U.S. group of 584 MS patients and 581 individuals free of the disease.

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In the U.S. group, people who regularly drank at least four cups of coffee a day were one-third less likely to have MS, compared with people who avoided coffee. In the Swedish cohort, people who drank six or more cups of coffee daily had a one-third lower MS risk.

“Caffeine should be studied for its impact on relapses and long-term disability in MS as well,” added Mowry.