Intranasal Insulin in Parkinson's Disease

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    HealthPartners Institute
Updated on 3 October 2021
movement disorder
muscle rigidity
resting tremor
antiparkinsonian agents


This project will investigate exploratory outcomes related to the effect of intranasal insulin on cognition, mood, apathy and motor performance of subjects with Parkinson's disease over a 3 week period.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's dementia and was originally described as a motor disease. The diagnosis of PD is still based on the core motor features of bradykinesia, resting tremor, and rigidity, primarily as a result of degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. In addition to the classic motor symptoms, however, PD is increasingly recognized as a multisystem disorder. A variety of non-motor symptoms, including cognitive deficits and dementia, are commonly observed in patients with PD.

In this study, we aim to investigate which intranasal insulin dose out of three doses and placebo, administered at three different doses or placebo over a 21-day period, is the optimum dosage based on safety and tolerability in Parkinson's disease. A similar design was used in a trial investigating intranasal oxytocin in frontotemporal dementia. Dosing for the first two groups of this study is based on previously conducted intranasal insulin studies in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), using daily doses on 20 and 40 IU of intranasal insulin. Higher dose have been found to be safe in healthy adults. Prior studies performed have demonstrated favorable effects of this regimen in the MCI/AD population without peripheral hypoglycemia.

Condition Parkinson's disease, parkinson's, parkinson disease
Treatment Placebo, Regular Novolin R
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04251585
SponsorHealthPartners Institute
Last Modified on3 October 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Subject has Idiopathic PD defined by the cardinal sign, bradykinesia, plus the presence of at least 1 of the following: resting tremor or rigidity and without any other known or suspected cause of Parkinsonism (according to Movement disorder society (MDS) clinical diagnostic criteria for Parkinson's disease confirmed by a fellowship trained movements disorder specialist
Subject is Hoehn & Yahr stage less than or equal to 3
Subject has a MOCA score 10
Subject is > 40 and <90 years of age
Female subjects are post-menopausal or have a negative pregnancy test
The subject must be proficient in speaking, reading and understanding English in order to comply with procedural testing of cognitive function, memory and physiology
Subject has provided informed written consent prior to participation. In the event that subject is legally unable to provide informed written consent due to deterioration in cognitive abilities, fully informed written consent must be provided by a legally authorized representative
Subject is on a stable dose (at least 1 month prior to baseline visit) of antiparkinsonian agents and is willing to remain on this dose for the duration of the study. If the subject is on a cholinesterase inhibitor, a stable dose without changes for 1 month is also required
Subject has undergone a brain CT or MRI prior to the study as part of their previous diagnostic workup for PD to rule out underlying structural lesions, as determined clinically significant by the investigator

Exclusion Criteria

Subject has atypical Parkinson's syndrome(s) due to drugs (e.g., metoclopramide, neuroleptics), metabolic neurogenetic disorders (e.g., Wilson's Disease), encephalitis, cerebrovascular disease, or degenerative disease (e.g., Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Multiple System Atrophy, Corticobasal Degeneration, Lewy Body dementia)
Subject has medical history and/or clinically determined disorders: chronic sinusitis, untreated thyroid disease, or significant head trauma
Subject has history of any of the following: moderate to severe pulmonary disease, poorly controlled congestive heart failure, significant cardiovascular and/or cerebrovascular events within previous 6 months, condition known to affect absorption, distribution, metabolism, or excretion of drugs such as any hepatic, renal or gastrointestinal disease or any other clinically relevant abnormality that inclusion would pose a safety risk to the subject as determined by investigator
Subject has had previous nasal and/or oto-pharyngeal surgery and severe deviated septum and/or other anomalies
Subject has history of any psychiatric illness that would pose a safety risk to the subject as determined by investigator
Subject is currently taking sedative medications that are clinically contraindicated as determined by investigator
Subject has undergone a recent change (<1 month) in their anti-parkinsonian medication, cholinesterase inhibitor or anti-depressant medication
Subject has current or recent drug or alcohol abuse or dependence as defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV TR)
Screening laboratory results that are medically relevant, in which inclusion would pose a safety risk to the subject as determined by investigator
Subject has participated in a clinical trial investigation within 3 months of this study
Subject has an insulin allergy
Subject has Insulin-dependent diabetes
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