Insulin nasal spray shows promise for dementia

12 January 2015

A new form of insulin, which is delivered by nasal spray, may help patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia. 

This is according to a new study from researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which used the man-made substance on 60 volunteers. All participants had been diagnosed with amnesic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia (AD).

The team compared those who received nasally-administered 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir for 21 days to participants who had 20 IU does or a placebo. The group that had the higher dosage showed significant improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information.

Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the study also demonstrated that those who were given 40 IU doses and already carried 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. Non-carriers across all three groups posted significantly lower scores.

"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 our previous work with regular insulin," said Suzanne Craft, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.

Posted by ​Jeanette Royston​


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