Scrappers' pitcher highlights rarity of ambidexterity - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Scrappers' pitcher highlights rarity of ambidexterity

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - While little may be known about ambidexterity, it appears people who can use both arms equally do so with ease.

"True ambidexterity where you have equal, you can use both hands equally in physical activities, in writing is extremely, extremely rare," said neurologist Dr. Donald Tamulonis with Mercy Health.

Dr. Tamulonis says most people who are ambidextrous probably were taught to use both hands at a young age, as is the case with Scrappers' pitcher Ryan Perez.  Perez can throw from both sides.  His fastest ball from the right was 92 miles per hour.  From the left side, he has thrown the ball 94 miles per hour.

Dr. Tamulonis says trying to teach your brain to use your non-dominant hand as an adult would be difficult.

"As we get older, as you mentioned for yourself, trying to teach yourself to write left-handed would be very difficult cause those neuro-networks, you know, the circuitry in your brain has sort of been set.  You can still do it to a degree, but it is much easier to do it when you are younger," said Dr. Tamulonis.

In addition to benefiting athletes, ambidexterity has been shown, to some degree, to protect stroke patients.

"If you share hemispheres and say the weakness on that side or certainly the speech capabilities are not as impaired," said Dr. Tamulonis.

Dr. Tamulonis says some people who were born left-handed years ago may have almost been forced to become ambidextrous because products such as school desks and scissors weren't made for left-handed students.

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