So You Lose a Little Muscle—So What?

We all lose muscle as we get older. Natural part of life, nothing to worry about—or maybe it is.

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So You Lose a Little Muscle—So What?

Any of my former students who read the Memo should remember the following definition quite well:

A motor unit is a nerve and all the muscle fibers to which it attaches.

It’s called a unit because both sides of that equation are important. Muscle fibers contract when stimulated by a nerve. Reduce the number of fibers that the nerve can attach to, and the muscle won’t generate as much force. Losing a little strength is no big deal, right? How about walking up a flight of stairs? Or even being able to maintain balance while standing? Yes—it’s a big deal.

Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of muscle strength and function as people age. How much loss? Just look at the picture from the Journal of Physiology: the loss of muscle is obvious and with that, a loss of function. Let that sink in. I’ll talk about whether anything can be done about it in the following posts. I will post every wednesday. Join the fun and dont miss anything.

What are you prepared to do today?

        Dr. Chet

Reference: J Physiol. 2018 Mar 11. doi: 10.1113/JP275520.

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