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Corticospinal Excitability of the Ankle Extensor Muscles Is Enhanced in Ballet Dancers

Sakiko Saito, Hiroki Obata, Takashi Endoh, Mayumi Kuno-Mizumura, Kimitaka Nakazawa
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 29 Number 3: Page 144 (September 2014)

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Abstract: We tested the corticospinal excitability of the soleus muscle in ballet dancers to clarify whether the presumed long-term repetition of the specific plantarflexion results in changes of excitability in this neural pathway. We compared motor evoked potentials of the soleus muscle at rest and during isometric contraction of the plantar flexors in dancers and nondancers. The amplitudes of motor evoked potentials elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation during contraction were examined against the background electromyographic activity. A regression line was calculated for each subject. Results showed that the slope of the regression line is significantly greater in the dancer group than in the control group, suggesting that the corticospinal tract of ballet dancers has adapted to long-term repetition of plantarflexion in daily ballet training.
https://doi.org/10.21091/mppa.2014.3030

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