Benefits of insulin in Alzheimer’s disease analysed in mouse study

Research found that intranasal insulin was absorbed rapidly into the brain of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) mice and improved learning and memory. In the image, mouse models in a laboratory

For patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), studies have shown that insulin can improve cognition. However, in humans these benefits are less impressive in women and in patients with certain biomarkers. To determine how insulin has this beneficial effect, researchers carried out experiments in a male mouse model of AD. 

The researchers found th
at intranasal insulin was absorbed rapidly into the brain of the AD mice and improved learning and memory. Absorption was affected differently when various cellular inhibitors were administered at the same time as the insulin. But importantly, there was little absorption into the bloodstream outside the brain.

“The results presented here provide [a] framework for enhancing intranasal administration so that it could potentially treat [an] increased number of patients with AD, including fem
ales,” the authors conclude in the
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease


[1]  Salameh TS, Bullock KM, Hujoel IA et al . Central nervous system delivery of intranasal insulin: mechanisms of uptake and effects on cognition. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2015;47:715–728. doi:10.3233/JAD-150307.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 22/29 August 2015, Vol 295, No 7876/7;295(7876/7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20069163

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