HealthDay News For older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), intranasal insulin (INI) may have positive effects on cognition and gait, according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of Neurology.

Vera Novak, Ph.D., M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a phase 2, randomized, double-blinded trial consisting of 24 weeks of treatment with INI or placebo once daily and 24 weeks of follow-up. A total of 223 older adults with (DM) and without T2DM (controls) were included (51 DM-INI, 55 DM-placebo, 58 control-INI, and 59 control-placebo); 174 completed treatment and 156 completed follow-up. The primary outcomes included cognition, normal walking speed (NW), and dual-task (DTW) walking speed.

The researchers found that compared with DM-placebo, DM-INI had faster NW, but not DTW, on-treatment. Compared with control-placebo, control-INI had better executive functioning on-treatment and posttreatment, and better verbal memory posttreatment. Faster walking and better executive function and verbal memory were seen for INI (combined DM-INI and control-INI groups). There was no association observed between INI and serious adverse events, hypoglycemic episodes, or weight gain.


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“Overall, INI effect demonstrated improvements of walking speed, executive function, and verbal memory,” the authors write. “These findings are clinically relevant and warrant further investigation in a larger clinical trial.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to medical device and pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk, which manufactures INI and partially funded the study.

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