September 11, 2017

Effect of caffeine on attention and alertness measured in a home-setting, using web-based cognition tests

W J Pasman et al, 2017. Effect of caffeine on attention and alertness measured in a home-setting, using web-based cognition tests,JMIR Research Protocols, published online.


BACKGROUND: There is an increasing interest among nutritional researchers to perform lifestyle and nutritional intervention studies in a home setting instead of testing subjects in a clinical unit. The term used in other disciplines is ‘ecological validity’ stressing a realistic situation. This becomes more and more feasible because devices and self-tests that enable such studies are more commonly available. Here, we present such a study in which we reproduced the effect of caffeine on attention and alertness in an at-home setting.

OBJECTIVE: The study was aimed to reproduce the effect of caffeine on attention and alertness using a Web-based study environment of subjects, at home, performing different Web-based cognition tests.

METHODS: The study was designed as a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Subjects were provided with coffee sachets (2 with and 2 without caffeine). They were also provided with a written instruction of the test days. Healthy volunteers consumed a cup of coffee after an overnight fast. Each intervention was repeated once. Before and 1 hour after coffee consumption subjects performed Web-based cognitive performance tests at home, which measured alertness and attention, established by 3 computerized tests provided by Quantified Mind. Each test was performed for 5 minutes.

RESULTS: Web-based recruitment was fast and efficient. Within 2 weeks, 102 subjects applied, of whom 70 were eligible. Of the 66 subjects who started the study, 53 completed all 4 test sessions (80%), indicating that they were able to perform the do it yourself tests, at home, correctly. The Go-No Go cognition test performed at home showed the same significant improvement in reaction time with caffeine as found in controlled studies in a metabolic ward (P=.02). For coding and N-back the second block was performed approximately 10% faster. No effect was seen on correctness.

CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that the effects of caffeine consumption on a cognition test in an at-home setting revealed similar results as in a controlled setting. The Go-No Go test applied showed improved results after caffeine intake, similar as seen in clinical trials. This type of study is a fast, reliable, economical, and easy way to demonstrate effectiveness of a supplement and is rapidly becoming a viable alternative for the classical randomized control trial to evaluate life style and nutritional interventions.

Modtag nyhedsbrev

Ja tak, jeg vil gerne modtage nyhedsbrev, når der er noget nyt om kaffe og helbred.