Nasal spray for diabetes may help beat Alzheimer's

Diabetes drugs delivered in a simple nasal spray may help beat Alzheimer’s disease, scientists claim.

Researchers from Northern Ireland, Sweden and the US found that medicines already being used to treat diabetes could also have a remarkable effect on the neurodegenerative disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s and it is thought that impaired insulin signalling in the brain could damage nerve cells and contribute to the disease.
Now scientists have shown that some diabetes drugs can improve signs of the disease in mice and that intranasal insulin could be a new strategy to treat the disease, the Daily Express reported.

“We have already seen really promising effects when we use these diabetes drugs to treat mice bred to develop signs of Alzheimer’s – they show improved cognitive function and signs of new nerve cell growth,” Dr Christian Holscher, a research scientist at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, said.

“We plan to start testing a diabetes drug in clinical trials in people with Alzheimer’s,” Holscher said.

“As with every new drug, clinical trials in people with Alzheimer’s will be the real test of success but it is encouraging to see new approaches to treatments,” Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said.

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