The study investigates the association between plasma miRNAs and cognitive function among cognitively normal men

A new research paper has been published on the cover aging (Listed as “Aging (Albany NY)” by Medline/PubMed and “Aging-US” by Web of Science) Volume 14, Number 17, Titled “Extracellular MicroRNAs and Cognitive Function in a Prospective Cohort of Older Men: Veterans Affairs” A standard study of aging”.

Cognitive decline associated with aging is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and in itself can have serious consequences for an individual’s ability to perform important daily functions. Despite increasing interest in the potential roles of extracellular microRNAs (miRNAs) in central nervous system (CNS) diseases, there has been little research on extracellular miRNAs in the early stages of cognitive decline.

In a new study, researchers Nicole Comfort, Haotian Wu, Peter de Hof, Aishwarya Vupala, Pantel S. Foconas, Avron Spiro, Mark Weiskopf, Brent A. Cole, Louise C. Laurent, Andrea A. Baccarilli and Joel Schwartz from Colombia. The Mailman University School of Public Health, the University of California San Diego, the Virginia Boston Health Care System, Boston University School of Medicine, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have utilized the Longitudinal Aging Standard Study (NAS) cohort to investigate the associations between plasma miRNAs and knowledge. It works among cognitively normal men.

“In a cohort of older men from Massachusetts, we investigated associations between plasmid RNA molecules and global cognition and the rate of global cognitive decline measured by MMSE.”

This study includes data from up to 530 NAS participants (mean age: 71.0 years) collected from 1996 to 2013, for a total of 1,331 person visits (equivalent to 2,471 years of follow-up). Global cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Plasma miRNAs were profiled using small RNA sequencing. The associations of expression of 381 miRNAs with current cognitive function and rate of change in cognitive function were evaluated using linear regression (N = 457) and linear mixed models (N = 530), respectively.

In the adjusted models, plasma levels of 2 miRNAs were associated with higher MMSE scores (p < 0.05). Expression of the 33 plasma miRNAs was associated with the rate of change in MMSE scores over time (p < 0.05). KEGG pathways enriched for miRNAs associated with the MMSE pathway and synchronous MMSE included Hippo signaling and extracellular matrix receptor interactions. Gene targets of miRNAs associated with the MMSE pathway have been associated as well as prion diseases and fatty acid biosynthesis.

“Circulating microparticles have been associated with both sectional cognitive function and rate of change in cognitive function among cognitively normal men. Further research is needed to elucidate the potential functions of these microparticles in the central nervous system and to investigate relationships with other neurological outcomes.”

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Journal reference:

Comfort, N.; et al. (2022) Extracellular microRNAs and cognitive function in a prospective cohort of older men: the Veterans Affairs Standard Aging Study. aging. doi.org/10.18632/aging.204268.