Insulin may treat dementia

Washington: Insulin delivered high up in the nasal cavity goes to affected areas of brain and helps improve memory, says a study that could lead to new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and similar forms of dementia.

“Before this study, there was very little evidence of how insulin gets into the brain and where it goes,” said principal investigator of the study William Banks, professor at University of Washington School of Medicine.

The researchers found that insulin does not go into the bloodstream when delivered intranasally, a major concern in the medical community because it would lower blood sugar levels.

“We showed that insulin goes to areas where we hoped it would go,” Banks noted.

The findings suggest the potential of gastrointestinal hormones like insulin to help those suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s that affect memory function.

Researchers conducted the study on a mouse model.

In the object recognition test, a test that depends on the mouse’s natural curiosity for new things, old mice did not remember whether objects they are presented to play with are new or old.

After a single dose of intranasal insulin, however, they could remember which objects they have seen before, showed the findings published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.