Background: Dementia is a complex pathological state that affects millions of individuals worldwide
and is responsible for a huge socioeconomic burden, making it a major health concern of current times. Given the
impact of dementia in both patients and caregivers, it is crucial to fully clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying
dementia-associated disorders, since without this knowledge our ability to correctly diagnose and treat these
diseases is severely hampered.
Methods: Epigenetic mechanisms, such as miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation, have been reported
to play a role in dementia pathogenesis. Given their ability to bind complementary mRNA sequences, miRNAs
are able to induce temporary or permanent translation repression of their mRNA targets.
Results: Consequently, changes in miRNA levels may contribute to alterations in the expression of dementiarelated
proteins, impacting the course of the disease. Conversely, studies have also reported that some of these
proteins are able to regulate the biogenesis and transport of miRNAs, hinting at novel disease-related mechanisms
that are now beginning to be explored. These findings have made miRNAs both interesting tools and promising
targets in the design of novel therapeutic strategies. Moreover, the discovery of circulating miRNAs, which are
released by cells of various tissues, including the brain, and travel in membrane-bound vesicles found in most
biofluids, opened new possibilities concerning the usefulness of miRNAs as biomarkers of disease.
Conclusion: In this context, the major aim of this review is to discuss the relevance of these small non-coding
RNAs in dementia, focusing on their role as gene expression regulators, their potential as biomarkers of dementia
subtype and stage, and the hypothesis of using miRNA modulation as an innovative therapeutic approach to treat