A new study found that use of intranasal insulin for 24 weeks improved several cognitive measures in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center conducted a small Phase 2 clinical trial where they found that daily doses of an insulin nasal spray may become a new treatment for slowing down age-related cognitive decline. In this trial the researchers found that the treatment was effective in elderly subjects with and without type 2 diabetes.
In past few years research hypothesized that resistance to insulin in the brain could be responsible for age related decline. In this new research, the scientists hypothesized that using nasal spray to directly send hormones to the brain may prevent general age-related cognitive decline than acute dementia more efficiently. In this trial the scientists recruited 223 subjects aging between 50 and 85. Half of the subjects had type 2 diabetes. The team divided the subjects into four groups; one diabetes group that was provided intranasal insulin, one diabetes group provided placebo, one healthy group provided intranasal and one healthy group given placebo. The team asked the subjects to spray 0.4 ml or 40 IU of human insulin and placebo according to the groups for 24 weeks before breakfast.
Furthermore, the team kept the track of gait speed of the subjects as in past studies it was found that the pace of a person’s walk can determine their neurological health. The team found that the gait speed of subjects in diabetes group taking intranasal spray improved and their performance on cognitive tests also was better than the subjects in diabetes group given placebo. The healthy subjects given intranasal spray showed improvements on verbal memory and decision making as compared to healthy subjects given placebo. The team found significant improvements in the non-diabetic subjects who entered the trial in a pre-diabetic state.