Indexed on: 13 Sep '13Published on: 13 Sep '13Published in: Praxis
Sarcopenia is an age-related generalized loss of muscle mass and muscle strength resulting in low physical performance. It can be observed in up to 50% of >80 year old men and women. Sarcopenia is strongly linked to frailty and causes physical disability, falls and institutionalization. Degenerative processes in the neuromuscular system, reduced food intake and physical inactivity are the most important causes. To screen for sarcopenia, gait speed should be measured. If gait speed is below 0,8 m/s, further diagnostics are indicated. Muscle mass can be assessed for instance by using DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry), Muscle strength with the "Handgrip Strength Test" and physical performance using a clinical test survey ("Chair Stand Test"). A Therapy is indicated if measurements are below defined cut off points in all three tests. Studies showed that the best way to improve sarcopenia is the combination of power or high velocity resistance training with leucin-rich protein supplementation.