Intranasal insulin: a treatment strategy for addiction [review]
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Addiction to substances such as alcohol, cocaine, opioids, and methamphetamine poses a continuing clinical and public challenge globally. Despite progress in understanding substance use disorders, challenges remain in their treatment. Some of these challenges include limited ability of therapeutics to reach the brain (blood-brain barrier), adverse systemic side effects of current medications, and importantly key aspects of addiction not addressed by currently available treatments (such as cognitive impairment). Inability to sustain abstinence or seek treatment due to cognitive deficits such as poor decision-making and impulsivity is known to cause poor treatment outcomes. In this review, we provide an evidenced-based rationale for intranasal drug delivery as a viable and safe treatment modality to bypass the blood-brain barrier and target insulin to the brain to improve the treatment of addiction. Intranasal insulin with improvement of brain cell energy and glucose metabolism, stress hormone reduction, and improved monoamine transmission may be an ideal approach for treating multiple domains of addiction including memory and impulsivity. This may provide additional benefits to enhance current treatment approaches.
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