MicroRNAs as biomarkers for CNS cancer and other disorders

Brain Res. 2010 Jun 18;1338:100-11. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.03.103. Epub 2010 Apr 7.


The use of miRNAs as biomarkers has gained growing interest in the last few years. Their role in regulating a great variety of targets and, as a consequence, multiple pathways, makes their use in diagnostics a powerful tool to be exploited for early detection of disease, risk assessment and prognosis and for the design of innovative therapeutic strategies. While still not fully validated, profiling of blood cells, exosomes or body fluid miRNAs would represent a tremendous and promising advance in non-invasive diagnostics of CNS disorders. A major challenge is represented by technological aspects of miRNA detection and discovery aiming to genome-wide high throughput, sensitive and accurate analysis. Although there is much to be learned in the field, this review will highlight the potential role of miRNA as a new class of biomarkers in several CNS disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Huntington and Parkinson diseases, schizophrenia and autism as well as different types of cancer (e.g. gliomas and medulloblastomas).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / genetics
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs