Author(s): Cederholm T, CruzJentoft AJ, Maggi S
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Abstract Sarcopenia, a reduction in muscle mass and muscle function, is considered one of the hallmarks of the aging process. Current views consider sarcopenia as the consequence of multiple medical, behavioural and environmental factors that characterize aged individuals. Likewise bone fragility is known to depend on several pathogenetic mechanisms leading to bone mass loss and reduction of bone strength. Muscle weakness, fear of falls, falls and subsequent fractures are associated to concurrent sarcopenia and osteoporosis and lead to restricted mobility, loss of autonomy and reduced life expectancy. The skeletal and the muscular organ systems are tightly intertwined: the strongest mechanical forces applied to bones are, indeed, those created by muscle contractions that condition bone density, strength, and microarchitecture. Not surprising, therefore, the decrease in muscle strength leads to lower bone strength. The degenerative processes leading to osteoporosis and sarcopenia show many common pathogenic pathways, like the sensitivity to reduced anabolic hormone secretion, increased inflammatory cytokine activity and reduced physical activity. Thus they may also respond to the same kind of treatments. Basic is life-style interventions related to exercise and nutrition. Sufficient vitamin D levels are of importance for both bone and muscle, primarily provided by sun exposure at younger age, and by supplementation at older age. Resistance training several times per week is crucial, and to be effective adequate access to energy and proteins is necessary.
This article was published in Eur J Phys Rehabil Med
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research