Monday, December 16, 2013



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"Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, exhale and relax.  Simply appreciate where you are and what you have"

Sarcopenia


Sarcopenia is characterized by a decrease by the size of the muscles which causes weakness and frailty.  This loss may be caused by different cellular mechanisms than those that cause muscle atrophy.  During sarcopenia, there is a replacement of muscle fibers with fat and an increase in fibrosis.  An excellent article from WebMD follows this introduction.



"From the time you are born to around the time you turn 30, your muscles grow larger and stronger. But at some point in your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function, a condition known as age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you will still experience some muscle loss.
Although there is no generally accepted test or specific level of muscle mass for sarcopenia diagnosis, any loss of muscle mass is of consequence, because loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility. Sarcopenia typically accelerates around age 75 -- although it may happen in people age 65 or 80 -- and is a factor in the occurrence of frailty and the likelihood of falls and fractures in older adults.
Although sarcopenia is mostly seen in people who stay physically inactive throughout life suggests there are other factors involved in the development of sarcopenia.
The primary treatment for sarcopenia is exercise. Specifically, resistance training or strength training -- exercise that increases muscle strength and endurance with weights or resistance bands -- has been shown to be useful for both the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.
Resistance training has been reported to positively influence the neuromuscular system, hormone concentrations, and protein synthesis rate. Research has shown that a program of progressive resistance training exercises can increase protein synthesis rates in older adults in as little as two weeks.
For optimal benefits with minimal risk of injury, the proper number, intensity, and frequency of resistance exercise is important. For that reason, you should work with an experienced physical therapist or trainer to develop an exercise plan.
Although drug therapy is not the preferred treatment for sarcopenia, a few medications are under investigation. They include: 
Urocortin II. This peptide has been shown to stimulate the release of a hormone called adrenocoticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary gland. Intravenous urocortin II has been shown to prevent muscle atrophy from being in a cast or taking certain medications; it has also been shown to cause muscle growth in healthy rats. But its use for building muscle mass in humans has not been studied and is not recommended. 
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). When a woman's production of hormones is diminished at menopause, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to increase lean body mass, reduce abdominal fat short-term, and prevent bone loss. However, in recent years there has been controversy surrounding the use of HRT due to increased risk of certain cancers and other serious health problems among HRT users.
Other treatments under investigation for sarcopenia include testosterone supplementation, growth hormone supplementation, and medication for treatment of metabolic syndrome (insulin-resistance, obesity, hypertension, etc.).  If found useful, all of these would complement the effects of resistance exercise, not replace them."