Virginia Tech professor receives NIH funding to study how COVID-19 may impact coffee drinkers

Dr. Alice Fleury cares for a family member who died of COVID-19. (Published Monday March 12 2020)

Alice Fleury a professor in the Department of Executive Medicine at Virginia Tech receives 1. 2 million to study the impact of coffee consumption on people who drink coffee for their daily human nutrition.

In a promising data set Fleury is assessing the role of caffeinated beverages beer coffee and mixed (and teas) in driving mental health. Her goal is to track these beverages against the COVID-19 diagnostic encodes she has created using a combination of digital images and phase tracking for her calculations.

Our experiment is to find out one how caffeine affects mental health down to the molecular level Fleury said. Caffeine can affect mood mood themselves even a person who has zero symptoms.

A brief history of mental health science.

Fleury has been studying physical and emotional wellbeing in patients with psychological disorders for 10 years following up on an NIH fellowship that she established to investigate the role of sleep and psychosocial influences in human health.

I then started doing some consulting for the National Institute of Mental Health Fleury said.

She eventually rejoined research at Virginia Tech where she has done academic research including work in the areas of public health epidemiology and biological anthropology and biomedical psychology.

With her new gift Fleury will acquire digital health nature in different application levels and foster approaches and ways to educate on cognitive and physical effects of consumption.

Jones says that coffee is an excellent choice for mental health applications but that the use of any caffeinated beverage could be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caffeine is powerful on-demand; children need to be able to effectively compensate for any negative reaction Jones said. Presently there is no evidence that shows that one caffeine unit provides health benefits.

Fleury Jones and colleagues will analyze data from the FDAs Food and Drug Administration Adverse Drug Effects Reporting System database and determine the effect of each substance on mood and cognition.

The project is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Council on Mental Health and pain management and the Virginia Tech Foster of the University of Virginia Innovation Fund.