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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 6;73:87-103. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2016.03.010. Epub 2016 Apr 9.

Diagnostic and therapeutic potential of microRNAs in neuropsychiatric disorders: Past, present, and future.

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Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey; Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.
Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Chemical Neurobiology Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Electronic address:


Neuropsychiatric disorders are common health problems affecting approximately 1% of the population. Twin, adoption, and family studies have displayed a strong genetic component for many of these disorders; however, the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and neural substrates remain largely unknown. Given the critical need for new diagnostic markers and disease-modifying treatments, expanding the focus of genomic studies of neuropsychiatric disorders to include the role of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) is of growing interest. Of known types of ncRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) are 20-25-nucleotide, single-stranded, molecules that regulate gene expression through post-transcriptional mechanisms and have the potential to coordinately regulate complex regulatory networks. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on miRNA alteration/dysregulation in neuropsychiatric disorders, with a special emphasis on schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BD), and major depressive disorder (MDD). With an eye toward the future, we also discuss the diagnostic and prognostic potential of miRNAs for neuropsychiatric disorders in the context of personalized treatments and network medicine.


Bipolar disorder; MiRNA; Neuroplasticity; Non-coding RNA; Schizophrenia

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