Sarcopenia of aging is not explained entirely on the basis of age- associated reduced physical activity. Progressive neuromuscular changes and diminishing anabolic hormone levels are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of sarcopenia. Decline in muscle mass indicates a decline in muscle protein content. Recent studies demonstrated an age-related decline in synthesis rate of mixed muscle proteins, myosin heavy chain and mitochondrial protein. Reductions in myosin heavy chain and mitochondrial protein synthesis rates have been correlated with age-associated decrements in muscle strength and aerobic exercise tolerance, respectively. These changes have been reported as early as 50 y of age and are related to the decline in insulin- like growth factor (IGF)-I, testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)- sulfate. The declining ability to remodel these important muscle proteins may therefore play a role in the development of muscle wasting, metabolic abnormalities and impaired physical functioning seen in old age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics