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J Korean Med Sci. 2006 Apr;21(2):342-6.

Evaluation of morphological plasticity in the cerebella of basketball players with MRI.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Korea University, Sungbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea.


Cerebellum is a key structure involved in motor learning and coordination. In animal models, motor skill learning increased the volume of molecular layer and the number of synapses on Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the analogous change of cerebellar volume occurs in human population who learn specialized motor skills and practice them intensively for a long time. Magnetic resonance image (MRI)-based cerebellar volumetry was performed in basketball players and matched controls with V-works image software. Total brain volume, absolute and relative cerebellar volumes were compared between two groups. There was no significant group difference in the total brain volume, the absolute and the relative cerebellar volume. Thus we could not detect structural change in the cerebellum of this athlete group in the macroscopic level.

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