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Blood-Based Biomarkers Validated for Mild Cognitive Impairment

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Jan 2014
Image: TaqMan Reverse Transcription Kit for microRNA (Photo courtesy of Life technologies).
Image: TaqMan Reverse Transcription Kit for microRNA (Photo courtesy of Life technologies).
A minimally invasive test is essential for the early detection and monitoring of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases for both drug development and planning of patient care.

Plasma micro ribonucleic acid biomarkers have been used for the detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is a condition characteristic of early stages of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists from the molecular diagnostic company DiamiR, LLC, (Princeton, NJ, USA) working with colleagues from the Roskamp Institute (Sarasota, FL, USA) obtained plasma samples from 50 MCI patients and 50 age matched controls (AMC). The miRNA isolation and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis were performed by Asuragen Inc. (Austin, TX, USA). Single target qRT-PCR was performed using the TaqMan Reverse Transcription Kit and miRNA specific stem-loop primers (Applied Biosystems; Foster City, CA, USA).

The investigators reported that two families of microRNA biomarkers, miR-132 and miR-134 families, detect MCI with the overall accuracy of 96% and 87% respectively, when plasma samples of MCI patients are compared to plasma samples of age/gender matched control subjects. The two families of biomarkers were identified among neurite/synapse enriched microRNAs and paired with brain-enriched microRNA normalizers using proprietary algorithms and software developed at DiamiR. The biomarkers are believed to reflect pathological processes underlying synaptic dysfunction and destruction characteristic of an early, preclinical stage of dementia development.

Samuil R. Umansky MD, PhD, DSc, president and chief scientific officer of DiamiR, said, “The results of this study are highly encouraging for the development of a test for early detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment, a condition affecting millions of Americans. The reported data validates DiamiR's innovative approach of using organ-enriched microRNAs for early detection of a pathology, when therapeutic interventions as well as life style changes are much more likely to have a meaningful positive impact.” The study was published on December 22, 2013, in the journal Aging.

Related Links:
DiamiR LLC
Roskamp Institute
Applied Biosystems


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