Blood serum miRNA: Non-invasive biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease

Hirosha Geekiyanage, Gregory A. Jicha, Peter T. Nelson, Christina Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations


There is an urgent need to identify non-invasive biomarkers for the detection of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). We previously studied microRNAs (miRNAs) in AD autopsy brain samples and reported a connection between miR-137, -181c, -9, -29a/b and AD, through the regulation of ceramides. In this study, the potential role of these miRNAs as diagnostic markers for AD was investigated. We identified that these miRNAs were down-regulated in the blood serum of probable AD patients. The levels of these miRNAs were also reduced in the serum of AD risk factor models. Although the ability of these miRNAs to conclusively diagnose for AD is currently unknown, our findings suggest a potential use for circulating miRNAs, along with other markers, as non-invasive and relatively inexpensive biomarkers for the early diagnosis of AD, however, with further research and validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-496
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the UK ADC NIA P30-AG0-28383 for providing the human blood serum samples. This work was supported in part by the National Institute of Health ( R01GM079688 , R01GM089866 and R21RR024439 ), the National Science Foundation ( CBET 0941055 and CBET 1049127 ) and the MSU Foundation .


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Blood serum
  • MicroRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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