U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Medical Hypotheses 103 (2017) 21–25.


U.S. government work.


Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder with lifelong morbidity and increased mortality. Currently, the diagnosis of the disorder is based on patient history and clinical examination, but it has a low inter-rater reliability and validity. Various biological variables, such as event related potentials, hormonal levels, brain ventricular volume and hippocampal size, have been put forth as objective markers to diagnose schizophrenia, but none with the desired sensitivity and specificity. It has been shown that microRNAs play a vital role in gene regulation in schizophrenia and have been proposed as possible biomarkers for the disease. When compared to the free microRNAs in the body fluids, exosomal microRNAs are more resistant to degradation and are easier to isolate. There are no studies reporting exosomal microRNAs as biomarkers for schizophrenia, but we hypothesize that exosomal microRNAs will be found to be potential biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis assessment and medication response to patients with this disease.