Every few seconds someone around the world develops Alzheimer’s, a debilitating and in the end deadly neurodegenerative disease which is as of now incurable. However, a recent research effort has opened a new window of hope. The world’s thought leaders on Alzheimer’s are meeting for five days from today in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, to discuss the latest advances and issues related to the disease.
Among the breakthroughs that would feature in the discussions would be a nasal spray that delivers insulin to the brain. Currently undergoing tests, the spray holds the promise of changing the way Alzheimer’s is treated.
Insulin’s role in regulating sugar levels in the body is commonly known. However, it has a critical role to play in brain function as well according to a Cognitive Neurologist Dr Neelum Aggarwal at the Rush University Medical Center.
“In Alzheimer’s patients sugar is not used by particular parts of the brain in the manner they ought to. This has to because of insulin receptors,” Dr Aggarwal says. In other words, insulin resistance impairs memory, a situation that may be mitigated by the spray, which is designed to deliver the insulin straight to the brain. The doctor says that if we are able to understand the manner in which sugar works with the brain and influences its function then we may be able to retard the progress of dementia.”
The spray has proved effective in improving memory and preserving cognitive function in a trial.