Elevated Plasma microRNA-206 Levels Predict Cognitive Decline and Progression to Dementia from Mild Cognitive Impairment

Aidan Kenny,Hazel McArdle, Miguel Calero. Alberto Rabano, Stephen F. Madden, Kellie Adamson, Robert Forster, Elaine Spain, Jochen H.M. Prehn, David C. Henshall, Miguel Medina, Eva M. Jimenez-Mateos and Tobias Engel


The need for practical biomarkers for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains largely unmet. Here we investigated the use of blood-based microRNAs as prognostic biomarkers for AD and their application in a novel electrochemical microfluidic device for microRNA detection. MicroRNA transcriptome was profiled in plasma from patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. MicroRNAs Let-7b and microRNA-206 were validated at elevated levels in MCI and AD, respectively. MicroRNA-206 displayed a strong correlation with cognitive decline and memory deficits. Longitudinal follow-ups over five years identified microRNA-206 increases preceding the onset of dementia. MicroRNA-206 was increased in unprocessed plasma of AD and MCI subjects, detected by our microfluidic device. While increased Let-7b levels in plasma may be used to identify patients with MCI, changes in plasma levels of microRNA-206 may be used to predict cognitive decline and progression towards dementia at an MCI stage. MicroRNA quantification via a microfluidic device could provide a practical cost-effective tool for the stratification of patients with MCI according to risk of developing AD.


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