A Treatment for Alzheimer’s? Encouraging Results from a VA Study

A VA study indicates that the use of nasal insulin spray can improve memory, thinking skills and functional ability for people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researchers in previous studies had found that low insulin levels in the brain might be a contributor to Alzheimer’s.  The nasal spray quickly delivered the insulin directly to the brain, with no apparent side effects.

104 adults participated in the study, with some receiving the insulin and others receiving a saline placebo.  The results were sufficiently encouraging to support broader trials to study the use of this therapy to either prevent Alzheimer’s or slow its progression.

The Study was conducted by a team at the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the VA Puget Sound Health care Center, and led by that National Institute on Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Results were reported in the Archives of Neurology, published on September 12, 2011.

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