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Expert reaction to conference abstract looking at insulin nasal spray and cognitive function

Posted On: 10 Jul 2019   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

An abstract, being presented at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour conference, reports that insulin delivered as a nasal spray can improve brain and cognitive function in adolescents with obesity.
Prof Masud Husain, Professor of Neurology & Cognitive Sciences, University of Oxford, said:
“I don't think this is worth covering. The results are very preliminary and the sample size far too small to make anything of this.”
Dr Vladimir Litvak, Senior Lecturer in Imaging Neuroscience, UCL, said:
“The key sentences in the Results section of the abstract are not very clear and I would not conclude from them that insulin improves cognitive performance, which is the key message of the press release.
“One thing they say is that there was a negative correlation between BMI and performance in two cognitive tasks and that there was no such correlation after insulin. This is not equivalent to saying that the performance was significantly improved by insulin or that the effect size is clinically meaningful....

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