Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a progressive, multi-systemic, inherited metabolic disease caused by deficiency of alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA). Current treatments for this disease are ineffective in treating central nervous system (CNS) disease due to the inability of lysosomal enzymes to traverse the blood-brain barrier. A noninvasive and effective approach was taken in the treatment of CNS disease by intranasal administration of an IDUA-encoding adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) vector. Adult IDUA-deficient mice aged 3 months were instilled intranasally with AAV9-IDUA vector. Animals sacrificed 5 months post instillation exhibited IDUA enzyme activity levels that were up to 50-fold that of wild-type mice in the olfactory bulb, with wild-type levels of enzyme restored in all other parts of the brain. Intranasal treatment with AAV9-IDUA also resulted in the reduction of tissue glycosaminoglycan storage materials in the brain. There was strong IDUA immunofluorescence staining of tissue sections observed in the nasal epithelium and olfactory bulb, but there was no evidence of the presence of transduced cells in other portions of the brain. This indicates that reduction of storage materials most likely occurred as a result of enzyme diffusion from the olfactory bulb and the nasal epithelium into deeper areas of the brain. At 8 months of age, neurocognitive testing using the Barnes maze to assess spatial navigation demonstrated that treated IDUA-deficient mice were no different from normal control animals, while untreated IDUA-deficient mice exhibited significant learning and navigation deficits. This novel, noninvasive strategy for intranasal AAV9-IDUA instillation could potentially be used to treat CNS manifestations of human MPS I.