Introduction: Aging is the primary risk factor for major human pathologies, including cancer,
diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
AD is a progressive degenerative disorder of the brain and is the most common form of dementia.
Methods: To-date no simple, inexpensive and minimally invasive procedure is available to confirm with
certainty the early diagnosis of AD prior to the manifestations of symptoms characteristic of the disease.
Therefore, if population screening of individuals is to be performed, easily accessible tissues would need
to be used for a diagnostic test that would identify those who exhibit altered or aberrant aging profiles
that may be indicative of AD risk, so that they can be prioritized for primary prevention. This need for
minimally invasive tests could be achieved by targeting saliva, since it is now well recognized that many
aging diseases including AD are associated with peripheral biomarkers that are not only restricted to
pathology and biomarkers within the brain.
Results: Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize some of the main findings of salivary biomarkers
of aging and AD; including various proteins, metabolites, and alterations to DNA and miRNA.
The future of healthy aging resides in innovative platforms, biosensors and point-of-care devices that
can extract real time information on the health status of an individual. Those platforms may be achieved
through the development and validation of novel biomarkers of health using saliva which, although being
the least explored for biomedical purposes, has the distinct advantage that it can be self-collected in
a non-invasive manner.