Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Mareike Müller (Donders series 213)

18 April 2016

Promotor: prof. dr. M.Willemsen, copromotor(s): dr. ir. M. Verbeek, dr. H. Kuiperij

Footprints of Alzheimer’s disease. Exploring proteins and microRNAs as biomarkers for differential diagnosis

To support the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, biomarkers are measured in cerebrospinal fluid. We searched for novel biomarkers that can differentiate between Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. As possible biomarkers, we investigated the protein NrCAM, a complex of the proteins amyloid-β and apolipoprotein E and several microRNAs. Levels of NrCAM and the amyloid-β / apolipoprotein complex were comparable between the different dementia groups and were therefore not suitable as biomarkers. A relatively novel approach for identifying a biomarker in cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer patients is the investigation of microRNAs. We discovered several factors that can influence their concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid, which may be of importance for standardized analyses and future studies. One microRNA, miR-146a, was decreased in Alzheimer patients versus controls and may deserve further study.