A Sex Perspective in Neurodegenerative Diseases: microRNAs as Possible Peripheral Biomarkers

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 23;22(9):4423. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094423.


Sex is a significant variable in the prevalence and incidence of neurological disorders. Sex differences exist in neurodegenerative disorders (NDs), where sex dimorphisms play important roles in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In the last few years, some sex specific biomarkers for the identification of NDs have been described and recent studies have suggested that microRNA (miRNA) could be included among these, as influenced by the hormonal and genetic background. Failing to consider the possible differences between males and females in miRNA evaluation could introduce a sex bias in studies by not considering some of these sex-related biomarkers. In this review, we recapitulate what is known about the sex-specific differences in peripheral miRNA levels in neurodegenerative diseases. Several studies have reported sex-linked disparities, and from the literature analysis miR-206 particularly has been shown to have a sex-specific involvement. Hopefully, in the near future, patient stratification will provide important additional clues in diagnosis, prognosis, and tailoring of the best therapeutic approaches for each patient. Sex-specific biomarkers, such as miRNAs, could represent a useful tool for characterizing subgroups of patients.

PMID:33922607 | DOI:10.3390/ijms22094423