Systematic Review: microRNAs as Potential Biomarkers in Mild Cognitive Impairment Diagnosis
Front Aging Neurosci. 2022 Jan 12;13:807764. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2021.807764. eCollection 2021.
The rate of progression from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) is estimated at >10% per year, reaching up to 80-90% after 6 years. MCI is considered an indicator of early-stage AD. In this context, the diagnostic screening of MCI is crucial for detecting individuals at high risk of AD before they progress and manifest further severe symptoms. Typically, MCI has been determined using neuropsychological assessment tools such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) or Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE). Unfortunately, other diagnostic methods are not available or are unable to identify MCI in its early stages. Therefore, identifying new biomarkers for MCI diagnosis and prognosis is a significant challenge. In this framework, miRNAs in serum, plasma, and other body fluids have emerged as a promising source of biomarkers for MCI and AD-related cognitive impairments. Interestingly, miRNAs can regulate several signaling pathways via multiple and diverse targets in response to pathophysiological stimuli. This systematic review aims to describe the current state of the art regarding AD-related target genes modulated by differentially expressed miRNAs in peripheral fluids samples in MCI subjects to identify potential miRNA biomarkers in the early stages of AD. We found 30 articles that described five miRNA expression profiles from peripheral fluid in MCI subjects, showing possible candidates for miRNA biomarkers that may be followed up as fluid biomarkers or therapeutic targets of early-stage AD. However, additional research is needed to validate these miRNAs and characterize the precise neuropathological mechanisms.