Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In the pocket of Big Coffee?

Via ScienceDaily I became aware of this special supplement of Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders

The special issue focuses only on the effects of caffeine on the brain, more specifically on caffeine's effect on Alzheimer and similar ailments.

What's interesting is that the issue, and the conference which lead to it, was funded by Associação Industrial e Comercial do Café - "Big Coffee" if you will. However, while the association has funded the conference and issue, they have not in any way tried to influence the research, and everyone has been entirely above board about the funding.

This is a very good way to deal with these things. Obviously, it is in the interest of the association to find any, especially positive, effects which caffeine might have, so it makes sense for them to fund this research. Yet, in order to reduce doubts about bias, everybody involved have been entirely open about the source of funding. Many other scientists and interest organizations could learn from this.

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