Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Loss of muscle in old age is a nerve problem


IllustrationIllustration - Researchers have made new developments and say that they may be able to explain why there is a natural loss of muscles in the legs as people age and that this is due to a loss of nerves.

In the tests conducted with the participation of 168 men, they found that the nerves controlling the legs had decreased by about 30% to 75 years. This led to the depletion of muscles, but older older athletes have more chances that they will be "saved" due to the unification of the forces.

Scientists have published their research in the Journal of Physiology.

When people get older, their leg muscles become smaller and weaker, which leads to problems with everyday movements, such as climbing stairs or standing up. This is what affects everyone in the end, but why it happens, is not fully understood.

Professor Jamie McPhee, of Manchester City University, said that young people usually have 60-70,000 nerves controlling movement in the legs from the lumbar spine. But his research has shown that this amount has significantly changed in old age.

"There was a colossal loss of nerves controlling muscles, a loss of 30-60%, which means that they are depleted. Muscles should receive the right signal from the nervous system, telling them about the contraction, so we can move, "he said.

A research team from Manchester City University worked with researchers from the University of Waterloo, Ontario and the University of Manchester. They examined the muscle tissue in detail using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and they recorded electrical activity passing through the muscle to assess the number and size of the surviving nerves.

The good news is that healthy muscles have a form of protection: the surviving nerves can send new branches to save muscles and stop them from depleting. Professor McFee said that it is more likely to occur in sports people with large healthy muscles.

Although it is not known why the connection between muscles and nerves breaks down with age, more detailed information about muscle loss can help scientists find ways to reverse this condition in the future.


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