Insulin nasal spray could delay the decline of cognitive function in those with Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment, according to a new study.
Previous studies have indicated that insulin levels are lower in the central nervous systems of Alzheimer’s patients, but this study shows that restoring insulin levels could have a protective effect.
Investigators from the University of Washington School of Medicine assigned 104 participants with certain types of mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease into three groups. Over a period of four months, one group received 20 international units of insulin nasal spray per day, one group received 40 IUs and the remaining third received a placebo.
The results of the pilot trail showed improved cognition and cerebral glucose metabolism in the insulin-receiving participants, the study authors wrote. “Taken together, these results provide an impetus for future clinical trials of intranasal insulin therapy and for further mechanistic studies of insulin’s role in the pathogenesis of AD,” they said.
The results were published in the Archives of Neurology.