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Progress Towards the Treatment and Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease
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"We've put our brains together for you. Together we can!"
Couple's experience dealing with Alzheimer’s


It’s an exciting time to be studying and treating Alzheimer’s disease. I feel that, in our lifetimes, with generous gifts from our donors, we can expect a dramatic paradigm shift with regards to this disease process.

-Michael Rosenbloom, MD

The clinical director
Intranasal insulin is among the most promising treatments invented by Dr. Frey. In a September 2011 broadcast of NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams called recent research on intranasal insulin “the first glimmer of hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s in a long time.” Intranasal insulin has shown to improve the memory, attention and functioning of Alzheimer’s patients and also improves the memory of normal adults.

-Dr. William Frey II, PhD

Founder and Senior Research Director
Intranasal insulin shows the promise of being a true therapy for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It may also help delay or prevent the disease in those who do not yet show symptoms.

-Dr. William Frey II, PhD

Founder and Senior Research Director
The effort to find a cure for Alzheimer’s is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. By including a gift of a designated dollar amount or percent in our estate planning we’re able to better provide for future needs. It’s our way of helping to make a difference, if not now, then for the next generation.

-Doug D.

Community Volunteer and Advisor
Physical activity shows promise for prevention of cognitive decline with aging and for those at risk of dementia.

-Dr. Leah Hanson, PhD

Senior Director of Neuroscience Research

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The Alzheimer’s Research Center is a national non-profit research center that relies on charitable gifts to conduct nationally recognized research for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and other nervous system disorders. The research center has been developing treatments in St. Paul, MN for over 30 years.
Intranasal Insulin Improves Memory
Decreased insulin signaling in the brain contributes to both memory loss and brain degeneration in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is difficult to treat patients with insulin without causing side effects. At the Alzheimer’s Research Center, we developed an intranasal insulin delivery method that targets insulin to the brain without causing unwanted side effects. When sprayed high into the nasal cavity, insulin travels rapidly into the brain along the nerves involved in smell. Our intranasal insulin treatment has been shown by researchers in Germany to improve both memory and mood in normal adults. Along with our collaborators at the University of Washington we showed that intranasal insulin improves memory, attention and functioning in patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Research is now in progress to determine how long the benefit of intranasal insulin can be maintained with prolonged treatment. Our current intranasal insulin clinical trial assess the safety and benefits of this treatment over a six month period using the most advanced nasal spray device for delivering insulin to the brain.

   Directors of the
Alzheimer’s Research Center

William H. Frey, II Ph.D.
Leah R. Hanson, Ph.D.

Our Story

Between 1980 and 1990, it became evident that there was an increasing number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders. The devastating impact of Alzheimer’s on patients and their families is known to all of us. During that time, the Alzheimer’s Research Center at the HealthPartners Center for Memory & Aging in Regions Hospital began to develop new approaches to treating, preventing and caring for individuals with memory disorders.

In 1989, we discovered that natural therapeutics could be delivered directly from the nose to the brain along the nerves involved in smell. Bypassing of the blood brain barrier allows therapeutics to reach the brain while reducing unwanted side effects. This discovery was acknowledged by a US patent and was replicated by researchers around the world.

The Intranasal Insulin treatment which we developed was shown in multiple human clinical trials to improve memory in normal adults by researchers in Germany and was shown to improve memory and functioning in Alzheimer’s patients in multiple trials in the United States.

What we are doing now
The HealthPartners Center for Memory & Aging, directed by Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, MD, one of the top behavioral neurologists in the country, focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders. The Center for Memory & Aging recently initiated the largest and longest intranasal insulin clinical trial for patients with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, we have developed two other treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke which we hope to test in humans when funding becomes available.
Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurologic disorders by advancing scientific knowledge through creative and collaborative research. We strive to educate the community and serve as a resource, bringing together patients, families, research centers, universities, and pharmaceutical companies with the common goal of curing Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer's Research Center is part of the HealthPartners family of care