Could an Insulin Nasal Spray Be Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease?

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Over the past few years, scientists have been researching whether insulin (a hormone used to regulate blood sugar levels) could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

MORE: The Alzheimer’s Society explains how the brain works.

According to the Mayo Clinic, insufficient levels of insulin may contribute to the cognitive changes experienced by Alzheimer’s disease sufferers.

The challenge for researchers has been finding a way to use insulin to treat Alzheimer’s disease in a way that doesn’t interfere with blood sugar, thus avoiding other health complications such as heart palpitations, confusion, anxiety and vision problems.

Preliminary studies have shown that a nasal spray may be an effective way to deliver insulin to the brain quickly so that it can work on improving and preserving memory and cognitive function in people with early Alzheimer’s disease without affecting blood sugar levels. However, these were small sample studies and the long-term results are still unknown.

Clinical trials are being conducted into nasal insulin sprays to be used in Alzheimer’s treatment. More research needs to be done on the safety and efficacy of the product, but early data shows promise that insulin nasal sprays may be used as a future treatment for the disease.

MORE: Can head injuries cause Alzheimer’s disease?

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