Scientists Find Molecules In Blood That May Predict Dementia In Advance

Oct, 2021 - By WMR

Scientists Find Molecules In Blood That May Predict Dementia In Advance

A research based on human studies and lab experiments found that levels of microRNAs could be a harbinger of impending dementia.

Detection of dementia in advance could help find more efficient treatments to manage the disease. A new study led by a team of scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) identified molecules in the blood that can predict signs of dementia. The scientists describe the molecules as a harbinger of dementia. It can detect the signs of the condition two to five years ahead of beginning.

The research targets molecules known as microRNA that are short strings of non-coding RNA capable of regulating gene expression and protein production. These molecules also help in detecting cancer through blood tests.  To identify a set of microRNA that can represent change in mental performance, the team studied young, healthy and aged people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) along with mice and cell cultures. The scientists found three microRNAs that act as indicators of mental performance. The lower levels of microRNAs were linked to a better performance of young and healthy subjects in cognitive tests. In mice models, the levels of microRNA worsened before the declining of mental performance.

 Furthermore, 90% of the subjects with MCI who had higher levels of microRNA, developed Alzheimer’s disease in two years. Therefore, the scientists describe these increased levels of these microRNA as harbinger of dementia and they estimated that these biomarker show signs of the disease two to five years earlier before the onset. Moreover, studying the mice and cell culture, the team also found that the three microRNA form inflammatory process in the brain and they affect neuroplasticity. As the measuring microRNA is a complex method that is not practical for clinical use, the scientists are working on developing an easier method to be used in clinical practices.

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