Insulin aided memory for people with Alzheimer’s

up the nose

Just a short nasal blast of insulin helped improve the memory skill of people with Alzheimer’s memory problems. One hundred and four patients in the small study were all diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s or a pre-Alzheimer’s condition known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). They showed improvement in recalling details of a story after a brief delay.

“Our results suggest that the administration of intranasal insulin may have a therapeutic benefit for adults with aMCI or Alzheimer’s disease,” said Suzanne Craft of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle in the Archives of Neurology.

A longer and larger trial is necessary before treatment methodology changes, but this is a hopeful sign that there is a treatment possibility in the future. Alzheimer’s has been notoriously difficult to treat and breakthroughs in treatments options are few.

“Anything that shows benefits even in stabilizing cognitive decline is worth noticing right now. Obviously, like any other study, it has to be replicated and independently confirmed. If that happens, then there will be a lot of interest in moving in this direction,” said Dr. Sam Gandy of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in New York.

After four months everyone who took a moderate dose of insulin could recall story details better than a placebo group. They also showed improvement in general thinking skills on a common assessment test, ADAS-cog.

Source: Reuters, National Institute of Health


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