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Optimal management of sarcopenia

Authors Burton LA, Sumukadas D

Published 11 August 2010 Volume 2010:5 Pages 217—228

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S11473

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Louise A Burton, Deepa Sumukadas

Ageing and Health, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

Abstract: Sarcopenia is the progressive generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function which occurs as a consequence of aging. With a growing older population, there has been great interest in developing approaches to counteract the effects of sarcopenia, and thereby reduce the age-related decline and disability. This paper reviews (1) the mechanisms of sarcopenia, (2) the diagnosis of sarcopenia, and (3) the potential interventions for ­sarcopenia. Multiple factors appear to be involved in the development of sarcopenia including the loss of muscle mass and muscle fibers, increased inflammation, altered hormonal levels, poor ­nutritional status, and altered renin–angiotensin system. The lack of diagnostic criteria to identify patients with sarcopenia hinders potential management options. To date, ­pharmacological ­interventions have shown limited efficacy in counteracting the effects of sarcopenia. Recent evidence has shown benefits with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; however, further randomized controlled trials are required. Resistance training remains the most effective intervention for sarcopenia; however, older people maybe unable or unwilling to embark on strenuous exercise training programs.

Keywords: aged, muscle function, sarcopenia

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