A microRNA signature that correlates with cognition and is a target against cognitive decline

EMBO Mol Med. 2021 Nov 8;13(11):e13659. doi: 10.15252/emmm.202013659. Epub 2021 Oct 11.


While some individuals age without pathological memory impairments, others develop age-associated cognitive diseases. Since changes in cognitive function develop slowly over time in these patients, they are often diagnosed at an advanced stage of molecular pathology, a time point when causative treatments fail. Thus, there is great need for the identification of inexpensive and minimal invasive approaches that could be used for screening with the aim to identify individuals at risk for cognitive decline that can then undergo further diagnostics and eventually stratified therapies. In this study, we use an integrative approach combining the analysis of human data and mechanistic studies in model systems to identify a circulating 3-microRNA signature that reflects key processes linked to neural homeostasis and inform about cognitive status. We furthermore provide evidence that expression changes in this signature represent multiple mechanisms deregulated in the aging and diseased brain and are a suitable target for RNA therapeutics.

Keywords: Alzheimer; RNA therapeutics; biomarker; cognitive impairment; microRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / genetics
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics


  • MicroRNAs