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Aging health. 2012;8(1):61-64.

Early intranasal insulin therapy halts progression of neurodegeneration: progress in Alzheimer's disease therapeutics.

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1
Departments of Pathology (Neuropathology), Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

Abstract

Evaluation of Craft S, Baker LD, Montine TJ, Minoshima S, Watson GS, Claxton A, et al. Intranasal Insulin Therapy for Alzheimer Disease and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Arch Neurol. 2011 Sep 12. Alzheimer's disease is associated with brain insulin deficiency and insulin resistance, similar to the problems in diabetes. If insulin could be supplied to the brain in the early stages of Alzheimer's, subsequent neurodegeneration might be prevented. Administering systemic insulin to elderly non-diabetics poses unacceptable risks of inadvertant hypoglycemia. However, intranasal delivery directs the insulin into the brain, avoiding systemic side-effects. This pilot study demonstrates both efficacy and safety of using intranasal insulin to treat early Alzheimer's and mild cognitive impairment, i.e. the precursor to Alzheimer's. Significant improvements in learning, memory, and cognition occured within a few months, but without intranasal insulin, brain function continued to deteriorate in measurable degrees. Intranasal insulin therapy holds promise for halting progression of Alzheimer's disease.

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