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Circulating microRNAs as biomarkers of alzheimer's disease: A systematic review

Wu, H.Z.Y., Ong, K.L., Seeher, K., Armstrong, N.J., Thalamuthu, A., Brodaty, H., Sachdev, P., Mather, K. and Hornberger, M. (2015) Circulating microRNAs as biomarkers of alzheimer's disease: A systematic review. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 49 (3). pp. 755-766.

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Background: In recent years, microRNAs (miRNA), a class of non-coding RNA known to regulate protein expression posttranscriptionally, have been recognized as novel biomarkers of diseases. Objective: In this systematic review, we identify miRNAs that are differentially expressed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and/or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and evaluate their accuracy as potential blood biomarkers. Methods: Eligible studies of miRNAs in peripheral blood distinguishing patients with AD or MCI from cognitively normal controls were identified through standardized search strategies in Medline, PubMed, and Embase. MiRNAs that were differentially expressed were identified and where available their sensitivity and specificity for AD or MCI extracted from the retrieved studies. Results: Eighteen studies investigated the diagnostic value of miRNAs as peripheral biomarkers of AD/MCI. Twenty miRNAs were significantly upregulated and 32 miRNAs downregulated in AD compared to controls in ten AD studies. Nine miRNAs were consistently dysregulated in more than one study. Of the 8 MCI studies, only one miRNA, miR-132, was consistently upregulated in three independent studies. Of the studies that reported diagnostic accuracy data, the majority of miRNA panels and individual miRNAs had a sensitivity and specificity greater than 0.75. Conclusion: Individual studies suggest that miRNAs can differentiate patients with AD/MCI from cognitively normal controls with modest accuracy. However, the literature is constrained by methodological differences between studies, with few studies assessing the same miRNAs. To become potential biomarkers for AD, further studies with standardized study designs for replication and validation are required. Results from this review may help researchers select candidate miRNAs for further investigation.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: IOS Press
Copyright: © 2016 - IOS Press and the authors.
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