Insulin spray 'could help treat Alzheimer's'

An insulin nasal spray has shown promising results in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in the US carried out a study on 60 adults diagnosed with amnesic mild cognitive impairment or mild to moderate Alzheimer's dementia.

Participants were given 20 or 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir, while others received a 20 IU dose of a placebo.

The researchers found that those who were given the 40-unit doses showed significant improvement in their working memory compared to the group who had received the placebo.

In addition, those who received 40 IU of insulin detemir and who possessed APOE-e4 - a gene associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's - obtained higher scores on memory tests than the other participants.

When investigating whether the treatment had any side-effects, the team found it only caused minor adverse reactions.