Exosomal MicroRNA-Based Predictive Model for Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease: A Multicenter Study

Biol Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 1;92(1):44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.12.015. Epub 2022 Jan 3.


Background: Exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) have been demonstrated to be biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, whether exosomal miRNAs can predict AD at the asymptomatic stage remains unclear.

Methods: This study is a multicenter study with four independent datasets to verify the capacity of exosomal miRNAs to identify preclinical AD. Subjects were recruited from a Beijing center in the pilot study (dataset 1: subjects with AD, n = 20; control subjects, n = 20), from other centers across China (dataset 2: subjects with AD, n = 95; control subjects, n = 93), a longitudinal cohort (dataset 3: subjects with preclinical AD, n = 101; control subjects, n = 102), and a confirmation study on familial AD (dataset 4: mutation carriers, n = 56; nonmutation carriers, n = 57).

Results: A panel of miRNAs was changed in subjects with AD and can detect preclinical AD 5 to 7 years before the onset of cognitive impairment (areas under the curve = 0.85-0.88).

Conclusions: Exosomal miRNAs can be effective biomarkers for predicting AD 5 to 7 years prior to cognitive impairment onset.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Biomarker; Dementia; Exosome; Prediction; microRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / genetics
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • Pilot Projects


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs