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Ballet dancers' brains adapt to cope with dizziness

A new study on the brains of dancers may provide a breakthrough in the treatment of chronic dizziness. The dancers' brains adapt over time to be resistant to dizziness.

Researcher says study could aid patients suffering from chronic dizziness

A long exposure photo shows members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing on stage at the Stage opera house in Vienna in February 2013. (Herwig Prammer/Reuters)

A new study on the brains of dancers may provide a breakthrough in the treatment of chronic dizziness. 

The study examined how ballet dancers deal with dizziness, and it suggests their brains are different. Turns out, the dancers' brains adapt over time to be resistant to dizziness. The cerebellum, a part of the brain important for processing signals related to dizziness, was found to be smaller among dancers when compared with non-dancers.

"It seems it is training related, rather than something that dancers are born with," the study's lead researcher, Dr. Barry Seemungal, a neurologist at Imperial College, told As It Happens co-host Carol Off from London, England.

Seemungal said the research can be applied to patients with chronic dizziness by giving them tailored training programs.

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