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The Impact of MicroRNAs on Brain Aging and Neurodegeneration

Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2012/359369
  • Review Article


The molecular instructions that govern gene expression regulation are encoded in the genome and ultimately determine the morphology and functional specifications of the human brain. As a consequence, changes in gene expression levels might be directly related to the functional decline associated with brain aging. Small noncoding RNAs, including miRNAs, comprise a group of regulatory molecules that modulate the expression of hundred of genes which play important roles in brain metabolism. Recent comparative studies in humans and nonhuman primates revealed that miRNAs regulate multiple pathways and interconnected signaling cascades that are the basis for the cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders during aging. Identifying the roles of miRNAs and their target genes in model organisms combined with system-level studies of the brain would provide more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of brain deterioration during the aging process.

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