Caffeine withdrawal in normal school-age children.


OBJECTIVE Caffeine is widely consumed by children around the world. The purpose of this study was to determine whether children manifest withdrawal effects after cessation of caffeine intake. METHOD Thirty normal children completed the single-blind, within-subjects, repeated-measures study with weekly sessions. Subjects were tested four times: (1) baseline (on regular caffeine diet); (2) on caffeine (approximately 120 to 145 mg/day); (3) during withdrawal (24 hours after discontinuation of caffeine taken for 13 consecutive days); and (4) at return to baseline. Subjects were evaluated with self-report measures of symptoms and objective measures of attention, motor performance, processing speed, and memory. RESULTS During caffeine withdrawal, there was a significant deterioration on response time of a visual continuous performance test of attention. This finding is consistent with caffeine withdrawal. The deterioration in response time appeared to persist for 1 week. CONCLUSIONS Twenty-four hours after children discontinued caffeine, there was a decrease in performance on reaction time of a task requiring sustained attention. Further work is indicated to determine whether children manifest caffeine withdrawal effects after cessation of caffeine intake.


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@article{Bernstein1998CaffeineWI, title={Caffeine withdrawal in normal school-age children.}, author={Gail A. Bernstein and Marilyn Carroll and N W Dean and Ross D. Crosby and Amy R Perwien and Neal L. Benowitz}, journal={Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry}, year={1998}, volume={37 8}, pages={858-65} }