Brain perfusion mediates the relationship between miRNA levels and postural control

Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcriptomics, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), and a spatial motor virtual reality task were integrated using mediation analysis in a novel demonstration of “imaging omics”. Data collected in NCAA Division I football athletes cleared for play before in-season training showed significant relationships in a) elevated levels of miR-30d and miR-92a to elevated putamen rCBF, (b) elevated putamen rCBF to compromised balance scores, and (c) compromised balance scores to elevated miRNA levels. rCBF acted as a mediator variable (minimum 70% mediation, significant Sobel's test) between abnormal miRNA levels and compromised balance scores. Given the involvement of these miRNAs in inflammation and immune function, and that vascular perfusion is a component of the inflammatory response, these findings support a chronic inflammatory model of repetitive head acceleration events (HAEs). rCBF, a systems biology measure, was necessary for miRNA to affect behavior. These results suggest miRNA as a potential diagnostic biomarker for repetitive HAEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 5 2019


  • Concussion
  • Football athletes
  • Head acceleration events
  • Mediation
  • Micro-RNAs
  • Postural control
  • Regional cerebral blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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