Nasal insulin spray shows great promise for Alzheimer’s

When I think about nasal spray, I think of the ones make by Vicks that are used to relieve you from cold.  Researchers at VA Puget Sound Health Care System/University of Washington-Seattle found that the insulin delivered by nose in form of spray can be helpful for Alzheimer’s patients.  The study was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Honolulu. 

What did study include?
A short-term trail was conducted on Alzheimer’s patients:

  • Patient population consisted of 109 adults with either mild cognitive decline or early Alzheimer’s
  • Patients received either placebo or 20 or 40 IU daily intranasal insulin treatments over the course of four months.
  • Patients were tested for certain memory and functioning test

What were main findings of study?
The study showed that:

  • Cognitive and functional test results improved significantly in the insulin-taking groups, compared with those who received placebo.
  • Some improvements lasted two months after treatment ended. But the ability to perform activities of daily living was unchanged.

What was the basis for studying intranasal insulin for Alzheimer’s?
R. Scott Turner, director of the Memory Disorders Program at...

Georgetown University Medical Center told that “We’re becoming increasingly aware that diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and hyperglycemia are all risk factors for Alzheimer’s and memory loss with aging, which is the rationale for this study as a possible therapy”.

Why does intranasal insulin work for Alzheimer’s?
One of the lead researchers Suzanne Craft said that intranasal administration enables insulin to access brain regions that are compromised in Alzheimer’s, thereby providing therapeutic benefits.

Also, previous research has suggested that Alzheimer’s and insulin resistance are closely related.

Researchers are definitely off to a good start, though a study on bigger population of patients is needed.  If the nasal spray proves useful for Alzheimer’s, it could be an easier solution to implemen


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