Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates
VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
 

In the News

Nasal spray with synthetic insulin shows promise for Alzheimer's dementia


Dr. Suzanne Craft (background), formerly with VA and now with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been a pioneer in studying intranasal insulin as a possible therapy for Alzheimer's disease. She continues to collaborate with VA investigators.
Dr. Suzanne Craft (background), formerly with VA and now with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been a pioneer in studying intranasal insulin as a possible therapy for Alzheimer's disease. She continues to collaborate with VA investigators.

Dr. Suzanne Craft (background), formerly with VA and now with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been a pioneer in studying intranasal insulin as a possible therapy for Alzheimer's disease. She continues to collaborate with VA investigators.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that a synthetic form of insulin delivered by nasal spray may improve working memory and other mental capabilities in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease dementia.

The paper reported on a study funded by VA and the National Institute of Aging in which 60 adult subjects took part. Twenty of the subjects received a placebo, and the other 40 were given insulin detemir, a synthetic version of human insulin, through a nasal spray. Of those, about half received 20 doses, and the other half received 40 doses, over a 21-day period.

The adults who received 40 doses for 21 days showed the most improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information, and adults in that group who had a gene known to increase the risk of Alzheimer's had higher memory scores than the other subjects.

VA has conducted previous trials using insulin delivered by a nasal spray for adults, but, as far as the researchers could determine, this study is the first to use insulin detemir, which tends to be longer-lasting than regular insulin.


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.