Parkinson’s disease; circulating microRNAs; plasma; biomarkers; validation; quantitative real-time PCR


Medicine and Health Sciences


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. One of the major challenges in studying this progressive neurological disorder is to identify and develop biomarkers for early detection. Recently, several blood-based microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers for PD have been reported. However, follow-up studies with new, independent cohorts have been rare. Previously, we identified a panel of four circulating miRNA biomarkers for PD (miR-1826, miR-450b-3p, miR-505, and miR-626) with biomarker performance of 91% sensitivity and 100% specificity. However, the expression of miR-450b-3p could not be detected in a new, independent validation set. In our current study, we improved the detection power by including a non-biased pre-amplification step in quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and reevaluated the biomarker performance. We found the panel of four PD-related miRNAs achieved the predictive power of 83% sensitivity and 75% specificity in our validation set. This is the first biomarker validation study of PD which showed reproducibility and robustness of plasma-based circulating miRNAs as molecular biomarkers and qRT-PCR as potential diagnostic assay.