MicroRNA may serve as therapeutic targets for traumatic brain injury


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Researchers have shown that microRNA biomarkers related to Alzheimer's disease play a role in brain damage caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI).

TBI results from blows to the head, leading to chronic disruption of the brain and a cascade of long-term health conditions.

According to the researchers, patients who suffer from TBI are at much higher risk of developing neurodegenerative disease or dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease.

"The coordination of miRNAs, BACE1 and APP may serve as collective biomarkers reflecting the harm caused by TBI that is relevant to development of neurodegenerative disease," said Bharani Thangavelu from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers evaluated more than 800 miRNAs in TBI models.

The team showed that TBI caused coordinated miRNA dysregulation followed by increased amounts of the beta-site amyloid cleaving enzyme, or BACE1, and loss of amyloid precursor protein.

BACE-1 cleaves APP to generate amyloid beta peptides, a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease pathology and brain cells loss, which are the focus of several clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease, the researchers said.

MiRNAs are small pieces of genetic material that play a critical role in normal gene expression.

Source: IANS

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