Insulin Nasal Spray Appears to Slow Alzheimer’s Disease

Man with Alzheimer's diseaseIt’s difficult to grasp how horrifying and devastating it must be to know your mind is slipping into dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Most of us have seen it in someone we know or love and that’s hard enough.

And there has been little good news in terms of promising treatments for patients with Alzheimer’s. So, a recent small study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues at the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Health System, on the affects of insulin nasal spray for Alzheimer’s is welcome.

The researchers randomly assigned 104 patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease into groups of 30, 36 and 38. Those in the smallest group got a placebo nasal spray, while the participants in the other groups got different daily doses of insulin delivered by a “nasal delivery device.”

The patients were treated for four months and assessed before and after the intervention. The researchers reported that “both doses of insulin (20 and 40 IU) preserved caregiver-rated functional ability,” in their paper published online in the Archives of Neurology this week.

Moreover,  it was reported that based on recognized tests of Alzheimer’s, the participants’ both doses of insulin also were found to have “preserved general cognition … and functional abilities.”

In addition, there were no “treatment-related severe adverse events.”

The researchers concluded that the results of this randomized study were positive and “support longer trials of intranasal insulin therapy for patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and patients with [Alzheimer’s disease].”

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