New nasal spray may help patients with Alzheimer’s

Every 70 seconds, someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s disease.

There is no cure, but there is new hope.

In fact, July 12-15 the greatest minds in Alzheimer’s research are gathering in Copenhagen, Denmark discussing the latest breakthroughs and developments in this disease.

There may be one way that could help us beat Alzheimer’s.

Judy Jolie knew back in college that her husband Tom was the one.

She says, "Right away we knew we wanted to do something with our lives."

Tom felt the same.

"We realized we had a lot of things in common and I think that's what basically attracted us," Tom says.

The two married and began their life together on a mission trip to South America.

Judy explains, "Basically go on an adventure."

Now, fifty years later, Judy fondly remembers those times, but after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago, her short-term memory is fading.

Judy says, "Some people can't walk very well or run and I just you know, can't hang onto uh or can't pull things out of my memory as well as I’d like to."

Now, new research might help.

"We would be more than happy if there was no improvement but there was no further deterioration,” he says.

The trial, known as SNIFF is testing a new insulin nasal spray that could change the way we treat Alzheimer’s.

Insulin plays a vital role managing your body's blood sugar, according to Doctor Neelum Aggarwal. It also plays a key role in brain function.

Dr. Aggarwal, Cognitive Neurologist at Rush University Medical Center, says, "You see specific areas of the brain okay that are not utilizing the sugar the way they should. And that has to do with the insulin receptors."

That insulin resistance affects memory.

The spray will deliver insulin directly to the brain where changes can take place.

Dr. Aggarwal says, "So if we learn how to modulate the sugar issue and learn how sugar interacts with the brain for brain function. Then we have a good chance of slowing down the rates of developing dementia which is the ultimate goal."

In a smaller trial, the spray was shown to improve memory and preserve cognitive function in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

"With the insulin study, we saw that these areas, eventually that were having a drop out, basically came back to look like this," he says.

The Jolie’s would be thrilled with these results.
The SNIFF study is actively recruiting patients across the country in 29 centers.

Qualified patients are non- diabetic and have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.


TOPIC: Saving Minds, Saving Memories: Nasal Spray for Alzheimer's
REPORT: #3798

ALZHEIMER'S: Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia (accounts for 50-80% of dementia cases) that causes problems with thinking, memory and behavior. Alzheimer's slowly breaks down brain cells. As it spreads, more cells lose their ability to function and eventually die, causing significant damage to the brain. According to the National Institute of Aging, more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer's. The disease mostly affects people over the ages of 65. According to Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer of the Alzheimer's Association, "Alzheimer's is still largely misunderstood. Everyone is at risk for Alzheimer's, with age being the biggest factor." In 2014, the Alzheimer's Association will be holding their international conference from July 12-15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Source:,

NEW TECHNOLOGY: A new clinical test on Alzheimer's is being launched at Rush University Medical Center that involves using nasal insulin to fight the disease. New evidence suggests that an insufficient delivery of insulin in the brain could lead to Alzheimer's. The name of the new test is SNIFF, the Study of Nasal Insulin to Fight Forgetfulness, and will deliver the nasal insulin directly to the brain through a spray. Previous short-term trials have shown that nasal insulin plays a role in improving some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Researchers hypothesize that after 12 months of treatment with nasal insulin, participants will improve cognition and memory. Only half the participants will receive the insulin, while the other half receives a placebo. Neither the participant nor the clinical staff will know who receives the insulin or placebo until the end of the 12 month period. (Source:

DR. NEELUM AGGARWAL: Dr. Neelum Aggarwal of the Alzheimer's disease Center at Rush University Medical Center claims insulin plays a vital role, not only in normalizing blood sugar, but also in brain function. "We know with Alzheimer's disease that somehow sugar is not being utilized in the brain as it should be. If we can figure out a way to deliver this compound easier to people like with a nasal spray, then we can reach many people at the early stages of memory trouble." (Source: Dr. Neelum Aggarwal)


Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD
Cognitive Neurologist
Rush University Medical Center
Phone: (312) 286-6312

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email:
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 265584571 -