Insulin Nasal Spray Aids in Alzheimer's Treatment

Posted by Bianca Doran on March 17, 2015

Insulin Nasal Spray Aids in Alzheimer's Treatment

Alzheimer’s disease is not an easy condition to be diagnosed with, and it's certainly not an easy condition to watch someone you love struggle with.  The disease gradually affects memory as it progresses within the individual. Memory loss is mild in the beginning, however worsens over time to the point that the person’s memory and behavior prevents them from responding to their surroundings.  It's a debilitating disease and entire families suffer when one family member is struggling with it.  Because of this, researchers around the world are trying their best to find ways to prevent, treat and cure this condition.

Hope In the Form Of Nasal Spray?

A promising study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center may have a found way to improve memory in adults with mild cognitive impairment and moderate Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  The team of researchers, led by Suzanne Craft, PhD, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest, found that an insulin spray may have the power to improve memory among those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive impairment.  This particular form of insulin is man-made delivered by a nasal spray.

The researchers focused on 60 adults who had been diagnosed with cognitive impairment. A portion of this group received the insulin detemir while the others received a smaller dose or a placebo.  Those who received the larger dose of insulin showed significant improvement in short-term ability to retain information compared to the others. This study was the first of its kind to research insulin detemir, which they found had longer lasting results than ‘’regular’’ insulin.

What’s the difference?  Insulin detemir is designed to attach to the blood protein, album . Album then absorbs the insulin, distributing throughout the body.  “Because the insulin detemir dissolves from the protein slowly, it has a longer period of exposure in the body” said Dr. Suzanne Craft.

A Bright Future

This type of research gives hope that a treatment can improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Future studies can now focus on the safety and efficiency of this method of treatment, so that maybe one day we can finally tackle this disease that affects so many American families.  Fortunately, there has been more of a focus on Alzheimer’s research than ever before and the last 20 years have been fundamental for progressive research.  Listed below are some of the advances that have been made in the last several years:

  • The first FDA approved drug for memory and thinking symptoms
  • Evidence that genes play an important role in Alzheimer’s
  • Advances in imaging allows for researchers to see Alzheimer’s path within the brain
  • Researching prevention options such as exercise,  hormones, and newly funded prevention trials

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