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CTAD 2022 | Biomarkers for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease: microRNAs

Bruno Steinkraus, PhD, Hummingbird Diagnostics GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany, speaks about the use of microRNAs as promising non-invasive biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). MicroRNAs fulfill many different functions in physiology and pathophysiology development through control of gene expression regulation. Dr Steinkraus’s team aimed to develop a miRNA panel capable of diagnosing early AD and distinguishing between other forms of dementia. They analyzed the microRNAs from baseline samples of 1900 patients and developed small RNA feature models, tested for their ability to predict amyloid positivity and cognitive state. The microRNA model was able to distinguish amyloid positive mild cognitive impairment (MCI) individuals (prodromal AD) from amyloid negative cognitively unimpaired controls with an AUC of 0.75. When looking at all amyloid-positive individuals, the model could predict MCI versus normal cognition (preclinical AD) with an AUC of 0.76. The performance of microRNAs is less effective in amyloid negative MCI predictions, which is suggestive of amyloid specific peripheral inflammation. Attention should be focused on the functionality of the microRNAs in future research. This interview took place at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease congress 2022 in San Francisco.

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