Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Kenny_et_al_2020.pdf (1.7 MB)

Elevated plasma microRNA-206 levels predict cognitive decline and progression to dementia from mild cognitive impairment

Download (1.7 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-09, 12:09 authored by Aidan Kenny, Hazel McArdle, Miguel Calero, Alberto Rabano, Stephen MaddenStephen Madden, Kellie Adamson, Robert Forster, Elaine Spain, Jochen PrehnJochen Prehn, David HenshallDavid Henshall, Miguel Medina, Eva M Jimenez-Mateos, Tobias EngelTobias Engel
The need for practical biomarkers for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remains largely unmet. Here we investigated the use of blood-based microRNAs as prognostic biomarkers for AD and their application in a novel electrochemical microfluidic device for microRNA detection. MicroRNA transcriptome was profiled in plasma from patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. MicroRNAs Let-7b and microRNA-206 were validated at elevated levels in MCI and AD, respectively. MicroRNA-206 displayed a strong correlation with cognitive decline and memory deficits. Longitudinal follow-ups over five years identified microRNA-206 increases preceding the onset of dementia. MicroRNA-206 was increased in unprocessed plasma of AD and MCI subjects, detected by our microfluidic device. While increased Let-7b levels in plasma may be used to identify patients with MCI, changes in plasma levels of microRNA-206 may be used to predict cognitive decline and progression towards dementia at an MCI stage. MicroRNA quantification via a microfluidic device could provide a practical cost-effective tool for the stratification of patients with MCI according to risk of developing AD.


Health Research Board HRA-POR-2015-1243

Science Foundation Ireland (12/COEN/18, 17/CDA/4708, 18/FIP/3552 and 16/RC/3948 (co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund and by FutureNeuro industry partners)

CIBERNED and the Spanish Ministry of Science (SAF2016-78603-R)

Institutional grants from the Queen Sofia Foundation

CIEN Foundation and the Carlos III Institute of Health



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Kenny A. et al. Elevated plasma microRNA-206 levels predict cognitive decline and progression to dementia from mild cognitive impairment. Biomolecules. 2019;9(11):734.

Publication Date

13 November 2019

PubMed ID



  • Data Science Centre
  • FutureNeuro Centre
  • Physiology and Medical Physics

Research Area

  • Cancer
  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
  • Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Perinatal Health




  • Published Version (Version of Record)