Ewan McNay

Neuroscientist explores the role of insulin in brain function and memory

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Ewan McNay

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Psychology

Role of insulin in brain function and memory; diabetes; Alzheimer's disease

Campus phone: (518) 437-4404
Campus email: emcnay@albany.edu


Ewan McNay's research explores the cognitive and neural impacts of recurrent hypoglycemia (RH), which is the most common and most feared side-effect of intensive insulin therapy for diabetes: too much insulin can cause hypoglycemic shock.

Another major line of research examines the role of insulin, not only active in modulation of brain functions beyond control of food intake, but as a critical component of hippocampal memory and metabolic processes.

McNay explores how memory improved by administration of insulin, as well as how inhibition of insulin signalling within the hippocampus entirely wipes out spatial memory processing.

Other ongoing research areas include the relationship between insulin and beta-amyloid, in both diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes) and Alzheimer's disease; the interactions between the brain's multiple memory systems; and the impact of fatty acids and a high-fat diet on cognitive and neural functions.

He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Virginia.