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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2014 September;173(9):477-83

language: English

Muscle mass and strength loss with aging

Keller K.1, 2, Coldewey M. 1, 2, Engelhardt M. 3

1 Centrum Thrombosis and Haemostasis, University Medical Center Mainz of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany;
2 Department of Medicine 2, University Medical Center Mainz of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany;
3 Department for Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Hand Surgery, Klinikum Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany


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Aging is associated with profound changes in body composition, especially with loss of muscle mass and muscle strength. The loss of muscle mass is caused by muscle atrophy with loss of muscle fibres and motor units. Atrophy and loss of muscle fibres with aging affect priorly the fast-twitch muscle fibres und their motor units. Fast-twitch muscle fibres seem to be more prone to function failure or loss over time. Main causes of the development of muscle loss are hormonal changes with especially reduced release of androgen and estrogen hormones, increase of synthesis and release of katabolic cytokines and decrease in physical activity. Treatment options for muscle mass loss with aging comprise physical training, modifications of nutritional intake, and pharmacological treatment.

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