MicroRNAs are endogenous small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by means
of partial complementarity to microRNA binding sites at their target genes. These molecules have
emerged as key regulators of almost every biological process including accurate control of neuronal
gene expression. The authors discuss the current state of microRNA research, including studies of psychiatric
disorders (schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and affective disorders). Stress has also been
shown to have a critical role in the development of psychiatric disorders, at least partially, through
mechanisms related to neural plasticity. Synaptic connections in the brain undergo experience-dependent
functional or morphological changes through complex pathways that are not yet fully understood, but
for which microRNAs might have a critical role. The focus is on the role that microRNAs play in the
development of psychiatric disorders and their potential to serve as biomarkers of disease as well as targets
for pharmacological treatment.
Keywords: miRNA, Psychiatric disorders, Stress, BD, SCH2, MDD, RNA.
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