What is it about?
Despite the importance of the developing cerebellum on cognition and learning, the associations between physical fitness and cerebellar volume in adolescents have remained unclear. This study examined the associations of physical fitness with grey matter volume of cerebellar lobules related to cognition in adolescents and whether these associations differed between females and males. Those adolescents with better neuromuscular fitness since childhood had larger Crus I grey matter volume. However, adolescents with better cardiorespiratory fitness had smaller total cerebellar grey matter volume. Moreover, males with better neuromuscular fitness since childhood had smaller Crus II grey matter volume.
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Why is it important?
Our study highlights the importance of physical activity through childhood and adolescence, leading to better physical fitness, as it might be relevant to cerebellar volumes related to cognition and learning. However, the associations we observed are, in part, contradictory. The study also sheds light on the associations between physical fitness and the cerebellum. Future randomised controlled trials utilising direct cardiorespiratory fitness measurements and novel brain imaging to assess a larger population and both sexes separately are needed to better understand the associations and causality between physical fitness and cerebellar volumes in adolescents.
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This page is a summary of: Associations between physical fitness and cerebellar gray matter volume in adolescents, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, October 2023, Wiley,
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