Next Article in Journal
Synthesis of Novel Lipophilic N-Substituted Norcantharimide Derivatives and Evaluation of Their Anticancer Activities
Next Article in Special Issue
miR-221/222 Promotes S-Phase Entry and Cellular Migration in Control of Basal-Like Breast Cancer
Previous Article in Journal
Two-Stage Prediction of the Effects of Imidazolium and Pyridinium Ionic Liquid Mixtures on Luciferase
Previous Article in Special Issue
The role of Micro-RNAs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: From Molecular Biology to Treatment
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Molecules 2014, 19(5), 6891-6910;

Circulating miRNAs as Biomarkers for Neurodegenerative Disorders

Laboratory of RNA Biology and Biotechnology, Centre for Integrative Biology, University of Trento, via Sommarive 9, 38123 Trento, Italy
Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
Neuroscience Institute, National Research Council (CNR), Padova 35100, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 April 2014 / Revised: 19 May 2014 / Accepted: 21 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue miRNAs as Probes to Monitor Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disorders)
Full-Text   |   PDF [281 KB, uploaded 18 June 2014]


Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and frontotemporal dementias (FTD), are considered distinct entities, however, there is increasing evidence of an overlap from the clinical, pathological and genetic points of view. All neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by neuronal loss and death in specific areas of the brain, for example, hippocampus and cortex for AD, midbrain for PD, frontal and temporal lobes for FTD. Loss of neurons is a relatively late event in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases that is typically preceded by other events such as metabolic changes, synaptic dysfunction and loss, neurite retraction, and the appearance of other abnormalities, such as axonal transport defects. The brain’s ability to compensate for these dysfunctions occurs over a long period of time and results in late clinical manifestation of symptoms, when successful pharmacological intervention is no longer feasible. Currently, diagnosis of AD, PD and different forms of dementia is based primarily on analysis of the patient’s cognitive function. It is therefore important to find non-invasive diagnostic methods useful to detect neurodegenerative diseases during early, preferably asymptomatic stages, when a pharmacological intervention is still possible. Altered expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in many disease states, including neurodegeneration, and increasing relevance of miRNAs in biofluids in different pathologies has prompted the study of their possible application as neurodegenerative diseases biomarkers in order to identify new therapeutic targets. Here, we review what is known about the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and the possibilities and challenges of using these small RNA molecules as a signature for neurodegenerative conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: miRNAs; biomarkers; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis miRNAs; biomarkers; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Grasso, M.; Piscopo, P.; Confaloni, A.; Denti, M.A. Circulating miRNAs as Biomarkers for Neurodegenerative Disorders. Molecules 2014, 19, 6891-6910.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top