Nasal spray may treat Alzheimer's disease


A direct route
Researcher William Frey II (Regions Hospital and the University of Minnesota) has stirred up conversation recently about a possible new method of administering drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. For the past 20 years, Frey has been researching and developing a nasal spray to deliver drugs directly to the brain. Other methods of delivery (such as intravenous and oral) do not allow certain drugs to cross the brain's protective blood-brain barrier.

The nasal spray method, reviewed in Drug Delivery Technology, bypasses the blood-brain barrier by delivering the drug to the nerve endings in the upper portion of the nose. These nerves lead directly to the central nervous system.

A promising development
Frey plans to test the method for the delivery of deferoximine, a drug that removes toxic amounts of iron from the body. Some scientists believe that a high level of certain metals in the brain can cause damage to brain cells , which may be part of what leads to Alzheimer's disease. If the drug's safety is proven in animal studies, Frey hopes to test the nose-to-brain delivery of deferoximine in humans.

Researchers do not yet know if this type of drug delivery could treat symptoms of Alzheimer's or if it may lead to a cure for the disease. Clinical trials in humans may be more than a year away, but Frey's discovery, along with other advances in research, offers hope for keeping patients healthy in the future.

Drug Delivery Technology. "Nose-to-brain delivery." 5(4):64-72, 2005.

TwinCities.com. "Nose to brain is a promising path in Alzheimer's fight." 2 Feb 2008.

Posted by Meredith Craven, a communications assistant in the Academic Health Center Office of Clinical Research at the University of Minnesota

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas


MY HUSBAND IS A VICTIM OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE -- HE IS STILL ABLE TO TELL ME HE LOVES ME -- HE TAKES CARE OF HIS PERSONALL NEEDS AS WELL -- BUT HE CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED AN HOUR AGO - HE WAS DIAGNOSED SEVERAL YEARS AGO-- I KEEP HIM BUSY PLAYING CARDS- CHECKERS-SCRABBLE ETC. - BUT - AFTER READING ABOUT THIS NASAL SPRAY I WONDER WHY IT CAN'T BE GIVEN TO HIM NOW -- he has been suffering with a rash -- (he was in the hospital for a week this last sume) - his arms were SKINLESS = ALL YOU COULD SEE WAS FLESH -- IT WAS CLEARDED WITH MEDS -- BUT IT REOCCURRED-- a few weeks ago -- it was discovered that he had an allergy to UREA -- I inspected everything he was using and found some that had that ingredient - but the dermatologist told me to call manufacturers to find out what other chemicals included UREA and were not clarified -- there are so many hidden chemicals that are combined -- if th government allows that - why can't someone who is willing to be part of this new study be allowed to receive it -- please help us -- they are so many people who are suffering -- not only the patient but all those who love them -- please allow those who are willing to try the nasal spray andbe given that chance of a better life..

posted on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 6:34pm
mcraven's picture
mcraven says:

Caregivers for Alzheimer's patients are in a painful situation. It is difficult to watch the deterioration of the health of a loved one, knowing that something that might help exists. However, it is important to remember that the safety of patients is always the first concern for doctors and researchers. This is a new way of giving medication, and it has never been tested in humans. First, researchers need to find out whether it is safe and effective to give this kind of medication (deferoximine) in nasal spray. They will do this with scientific studies in animals.

If researchers prove that it is safe for animals, then they could possibly test the medication in clinical trials with human patients. These clinical trials will be small at first, because researchers need to carefully study how the medication works and whether or not it is safe. In other words, new treatments must prove to be safe and effective in scientific studies with a certain number of patients before they can be made widely available.

Clinical trials help researchers learn which treatments are more safe and effective than others. The steps involved in testing a new medication can seem lengthy, but they are necessary in order to keep patients safe and to find the best, most effective treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s. If you are interested in clinical trials for other kinds of Alzheimer’s medications, you can visit ClinicalTrials.gov to find studies that need participants now. (Try typing “Alzheimer’s AND Minneapolis”.) I wish you the very best.

posted on Fri, 02/22/2008 - 9:14am
Sandy's picture
Sandy says:

My husband has dementia and I feel the same way, if there is something out there that
will help him and other people with this terrible decease why won't the doctors give it to
them. I was reading about the nasal spray too it sounds like there is a good chance it will
work. What medication does your husband take? Do you think it has done him any good? My
husband was on some of the Alzheimer drugs but they seem to change his personality, he was not as happy and as loving with the kids, He starting taking vitamins for dementia now
but has only been on them for 2 months, the say it will take at least 3 months before we
will see any change if any. I am praying the vitamin will work but if the nasal spray works I
would like for him to try it.

posted on Fri, 02/22/2008 - 6:56pm
Clintb's picture
Clintb says:

Try Dogtorj.net. A Veterinary in Georgia has found a link between most mental problems and casein and gluten. It appears that they disable they intestinal villi so the nutrients are not absorbed

posted on Sat, 03/07/2009 - 11:29pm
Mark's picture
Mark says:

Dear Ms Stempler,
There is a trial going on right now with a nasal spray that causes the brain to produce cells which completely destroy the plaque.This combination has been 88% effective in rats of completely eliminating induced Alzheimer,s.

posted on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 10:57am
hmoob_muas's picture
hmoob_muas says:

i use this kind of medicine, but i dont have the diease, its just
my running nose!

posted on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 11:08am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Actually, a sea water nasal spray does help relieve cold symptoms.

posted on Thu, 03/06/2008 - 1:08pm
ERICc's picture
ERICc says:

My mother has the disease.I have been trying everything out there .She complaines of being cold and wearing heavy clothing.So im trying a very powerful liquid chelation to improve her blood flow, esp to her brain. I figured if the blood flow wasnt able to get enough of the nutrients (vitamines and minerals)to the wright place's i wouldnt get the best results.I sugest for people to research the top prescribed drugs out there for the disease.You will be surprised to find out the drugs cause the same effects but worse .My opinion and i read it in several articals thi prescription drugs are nothing but a fake and poisoning our elderly.I think there may be a very very small benifit from the drugs but the bad out weighs the good by far.So we are going to good nutrition useing a licenced nutritionist who uses clinicaly proven products .I also heard of a nasel spray developed in Isreal a few years ago that sprayed a bacteria that eats the plack with great results.Im convinced the medical industry is in no hurry to help our loved ones.They want to sell us drugs that do more harm than good, and keep the personal care industry going strong.Steping back and looking at the big picture i think the goverment wants the elderly to die off after there usefullness. (paying into s.s. not drawing much)

posted on Fri, 02/29/2008 - 12:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You are right on the money. Say no more.

posted on Sun, 08/03/2008 - 12:36am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I am very sorry to hear of your mother's illness. No drug therapy is 100% effective. Alzheimer's is a recently-identified disease; finding good treatments takes time. An yes, many drugs do have side-effects.

To my knowledge, no "natural" therapy has been proven effective against Alzheimer's. Some patients do show improvement -- or, more accurately, a slowing of their deterioration -- but no more than one would find in a random sample.

Given the litigious nature of our society, and the enormous profits to be made from successful drugs, it seems highly unlikely that the scenario you describe is in effect. And if the government is trying to kill old people, they are doing a remarkably poor job of it, given our ever-rising life expectancy.

posted on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 8:56pm
Frank Troha's picture
Frank Troha says:

The link included in a previous posting unfortunately does not connect to the government site that lists many current clinical trials open to Alzheimer's sufferers. Please click on the following link.


Or you can go to: www.clinicaltrials.gov

posted on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 9:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Alzheimers is a horrible way to live the last years of ones life. My mother had this disease, it lasted for seven years. In the final seven years she could only lie in a fetal position. My brother now has this horrible disease and is confined to a nursing home. Why not test the nasal spray and see if it can bring our loved ones back to a life they knew before being diagnosed. Alzheimers is a death that one lives with ever day.

posted on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 10:08am
Shannon's picture
Shannon says:

My father has Alzheimer's and was told that he had about 8 years to live - that was 8 years ago and while he certainly has increasing memory problems, he can still drive a car and knows most of the time who he's talking to.

If it helps - here's a few things that we've learned and have been applying that seem to be helping:

1. Alzheimer's is now being refered to as Type 3 diabeties.

2. It works much like - and in fact may be - an alergic reaction.

3. It is highly likely that mercury is a major player as the culprit. There is a book out there called "Beating Alzheimer's" by Tom Warren. He tells (and shows brain scans) of his personal battle and how he finally had all of his teeth removed as they were full of amalgam (fillings made primarily of mercury). The inflamation in his brain stopped and his symptoms were reversed to the point that Doctors looking at the new scans said that the earlier ones were a mistake.

Check out "The Smoking Tooth Video" on YouTube.com for more on the effects of mercury. You can actually see the vapors coming off the tooth.

4. While we haven't had taken out teeth, but have been trying to deal with the inflamation. The spice turmeric has curicuman - an anti-inflamitory in it. In India where it is consumed regularly, there is a very low incidence of Alzheimer's.

Also - Malic Acid - found in applies and available in tablet form act as a natural chelator (pulling out heavy metals) as does parsley (which can be made into a pesto for easy consumption.

5. Finally - I've recently been studying the information at www.watercure2.org that asserts that as we become more dehydrated as a nation (opting for soda, coffee, juice, etc instead of water) our bodies are breaking down. In the case of Alzheimer's the brain needs to float in about 85% saline solution to (among other things) clean out the impurities/waste. By adding sea salt (not the regular table salt that has little redeeming value - Redmond has 50 trace minerals, Celtic has 84) to our water and/or diet and drinking one ounce of water for every 2 pounds, MANY infirmities have been resolved. It's really worth a look and then you can decide for yourselves.

My prayers go with you as we battle this!

posted on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 10:13pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

We've discussed turmeric before in relation to fighting cancer. Whatever health benefits it may have are largely lost during digestion, so eating it isn't going to help much (though it will make your food taste better!) Treatments based on turmeric show some promise, but are a long way from being proven.

Alzheimer's is primarily a disease of old age. The average life expectancy in India is about 59 years; in the US, it's almost 78. Because Americans, on average, live longer, we should expect there to be a higher rate of geriatric disease here.

posted on Fri, 01/23/2009 - 1:12pm
Chad Humphrey's picture
Chad Humphrey says:

Look into vitamin d and omega-3 fatty acids.

I'm not saying, by linking that site, that those will cure alzheimer's or anything like that, which I think is really important to note, but I think they may be very good supplements for people with alzheimer's to take, and also people looking to prevent cognitive and age-related diseases as much as possible. As people age they lose the ability to produce Vitamin D as well.

posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 11:16pm
regg's picture
regg says:

It's too soon to have hopes about Alzheimer's disease, this nasal spray is just a test form of medication, I can't help not being skeptical about it, that's until I see the first results.

posted on Fri, 07/02/2010 - 4:25pm
Amelia's picture
Amelia says:

Hello, I've been posting to Science Buzz threads for the past month or so find Science Buzz users who would like to contribute to my dissertation research about Science Buzz. I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland.

I've gotten several responses (thank you so much!) and would love to get just a few more people to complete the survey! Your help would consist of taking a brief survey (approximately 10-20 minutes to complete, depending on the length of answers). To proceed to the survey, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GLZMRN8.

Thank you in advance for your interest and time. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at [email protected].

posted on Sat, 07/03/2010 - 2:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have a wonderful friend who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. She is starting to progress towards a worse stage. Having known several people who had the disease, how much worse could a life get by a clinical trial than what they have to lookk forward to? This has to be one of the most horrible diseases there is. I would much rather try something that might work, than the few drugs out there today, that only make life a little better. Please, to the powers that be, stop wasting time.

posted on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 2:09pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options