Insulin Nasal Spray Shows Promise As Treatment For Dementia And Alzheimer's


Insulin Nasal Spray Shows Promise As Treatment For Dementia And Alzheimer's
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A man-made form of insulin delivered by nasal spray may improve working memory and other mental capabilities in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease dementia, according to a pilot study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
 
The study's subjects were 60 adults diagnosed with amnesic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia (AD). Those who received nasally-administered 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir, a manufactured form of the hormone, for 21 days showed significant improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information compared with those who received 20 IU does or a placebo.
 
Additionally, the recipients of 40 IU doses carrying the APOE-e4 gene - which is known to increase the risk for Alzheimer's - recorded significantly higher memory scores than those who received the loser dosage or placebo, while non-carriers across all three groups posted significantly lower scores.
 
Previous trials had shown promising effects of nasally-administered insulin for adults with AD and MCI, but this study was the first to use insulin detemir, whose effects are longer-lasting than those of "regular" insulin.
 
The study provides preliminary evidence that insulin detemir can provide effective treatment for people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's-related dementia similar to previous work with regular insulin.
 
The researchers also sought to determine if the insulin detemir doses would cause any negative side effects, and found only minor adverse reactions among the subjects. The study's overall results support further investigation of the therapeutic value of insulin detemir as a treatment for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
 
Alzheimer's is a devastating illness, for which even small therapeutic gains have the potential to improve quality of life and significantly reduce the overall burden for patients, families and society. Future studies are warranted to examine the safety and efficacy of this promising treatment.
 
Originally posted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.