Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. While advancements have been made in understanding the genetic and molecular basis of AD, the clinical diagnosis of AD remains difficult, and post-mortem confirmation is often required. Furthermore, the onset of neurodegeneration precedes clinical symptoms by approximately a decade. Consequently, there is a crucial need for an early and accurate diagnosis of AD, which can potentially lead to strategies that can slow down or stop the progression of neurodegeneration and dementia. Recent advances in the non-coding RNA field have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) can function as powerful biomarkers in human diseases. Studies are emerging suggesting that circulating miRNAs in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood serum have characteristic changes in AD patients. Whether miRNAs can be used in AD diagnosis, alone or in combination with other AD biomarkers (e.g., amyloid and tau), warrants further investigation.

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Published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, v. 6, article 24, p. 1-6.

© 2013 Dorval, Nelson and Hébert. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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