Original Paper

The Cerebellum

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 925-930

First online:

Volumetric Analysis of Cerebellum in Short-Track Speed Skating Players

  • In Sung ParkAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Korea University College of MedicineDepartment of Sports Science, Han Nam UniversityCollege of Education, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
  • , Nam Joon LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology, Korea University College of Medicine
  • , Tae-Young KimAffiliated withCollege of Education, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
  • , Jin-Hoon ParkAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Education, Korea University
  • , Yu-Mi WonAffiliated withCollege of Education, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
  • , Yong-Ju JungAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Education, Korea University
  • , Jin-Hwan YoonAffiliated withDepartment of Sports Science, Han Nam University
  • , Im Joo RhyuAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Korea University College of Medicine Email author 

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Abstract

The cerebellum is associated with balance control and coordination, which might be important for gliding on smooth ice at high speeds. A number of case studies have shown that cerebellar damage induces impaired balance and coordination. As a positive model, therefore, we investigated whether plastic changes in the volumes of cerebellar subregions occur in short-track speed skating players who must have extraordinary abilities of balance and coordination, using three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging volumetry. The manual tracing was performed and the volumes of cerebellar hemisphere and vermian lobules were compared between short-track speed skating players (n = 16) and matched healthy controls (n = 18). We found larger right cerebellar hemisphere volume and vermian lobules VI–VII (declive, folium, and tuber) in short-track speed skating players in comparison with the matched controls. The finding suggests that the specialized abilities of balance and coordination are associated with structural plasticity of the right hemisphere of cerebellum and vermian VI–VII and these regions play an essential role in balance and coordination.

Keywords

Balance Coordination Magnetic resonance imaging Sports