Circulating MicroRNA Profile Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Alzheimer’s Disease.
The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by polysomnography (PSG) is challenging due to the required collaboration of the patients. In addition, screening questionnaires have demonstrated limited usefulness with this subpopulation. Considering this, we investigated the circulating microRNA (miRNA) profile associated with OSA in AD patients. This study included a carefully selected cohort of females with mild-moderate AD confirmed by biological evaluation (n = 29). The individuals were submitted to one-night PSG to diagnose OSA (apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15/h) and the blood was collected in the following morning. The plasma miRNA profile was evaluated using RT-qPCR. The patients had a mean (SD) age of 75.8 (5.99) years old with a body mass index of 28.6 (3.83) kg m. We observed a subset of 15 miRNAs differentially expressed between OSA and non-OSA patients, of which 10 were significantly correlated with the severity of OSA. Based on this, we built a prediction model that generated an AUC (95% CI) of 0.95 (0.88-1.00) including 5 of the differentially expressed miRNAs that correlated with OSA severity: miR-26a-5p, miR-30a-3p, miR-374a-5p, miR-377-3p, and miR-545-3p. Our preliminary results suggest a plasma miRNA signature associated with the presence of OSA in AD patients. Further studies will be necessary to validate these findings.