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New Alzheimer's Treatment Study: Insulin Nasal Spray

- Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The staff of Spring Arbor Living community enjoy keeping you up to date on the latest dementia and Alzheimer's care medical research and development. We consider the act of providing such updates to be basic responsibilities of any and all assisted independent living centers.

According to a recent study, researchers found that insulin administered via nasal spray might benefit Alzheimer’s patients. This is according to a new short-term trial of intranasal insulin in Alzheimer’s patients and people with mild cognitive decline demonstrated improvement on memory and functioning tests. Unfortunately, the ability to perform activities of daily living was unchanged.

This study, presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s in Hawaii, followed 109 adults with either mild cognitive decline or early Alzheimer’s who were administered either placebo or 20 or 40 IU daily intranasal insulin treatments over four months. Results indicate the insulin group realized improved  cognitive and functional tests when compared to the placebo group. Some of the improvements lasted two months after treatment ended.

The researchers believe that restoring normal insulin levels in the brain may represent a therapeutic approach to Alzheimer’s care patients. Administration of the insulin through the nose reportedly enables access to those areas hit by the disease. Prior research has suggested a relationship between insulin resistances (the inability of insulin to transport glucose to the cells).

The authors underscore the role of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and hypoglycemia as risk factors for Alzheimer’s and memory loss with aging. This represented the rationale for the study and potential therapy. Intranasal insulin therapy is yet another promising medical development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. We hope such treatment can soon be provided at dementia treatment facilities across the United States.