Monday 20 August 2018, 3:09 pm
LATEST
Afghan officials: Taliban take at least 100 people hostage                    Police in Barcelona shoot knife attacker                    Multiple quakes rock Indonesia's Lombok island, five dead                    Shots fired at gate of US Embassy in Turkey, but no one hurt                    Muslims begin annual haj pilgrimage amid heavy rains                    

Muscle loss in old age linked to fewer nerve signals

Health Desk | newsbangladesh.com
Inserted: 14:37, Wednesday 14 March 2018


Muscle loss in old age linked to fewer nerve signals - Lifestyle
Fit, healthy muscles are less likely to waste away in old age. GETTY IMAGES

Researchers say they may have worked out why there is a natural loss of muscle in the legs as people age - and that it is due to a loss of nerves, reports BBC.

In tests on 168 men, they found that nerves controlling the legs decreased by around 30% by the age of 75.

This made muscles waste away, but in older fitter athletes there was a better chance of them being 'rescued' by nerves re-connecting.

The scientists published their research in the Journal of Physiology.

As people get older, their leg muscles become smaller and weaker, leading to problems with everyday movements such as walking up stairs or getting out of a chair.

It is something that affects everyone eventually, but why it happens is not fully understood.

Muscle loss: The femur bone is in the middle creating a black ring, muscles are shaded grey and fat is white. PIASECKI ET AL

Prof Jamie McPhee, from Manchester Metropolitan University, said young adults usually had 60-70,000 nerves controlling movement in the legs from the lumbar spine.

But his research showed this changed significantly in old age.

"There was a dramatic loss of nerves controlling the muscles - a 30-60% loss - which means they waste away," he said.

"The muscles need to receive a proper signal from the nervous system to tell them to contract, so we can move around."

The research team from Manchester Metropolitan University worked with researchers from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and the University of Manchester.

They looked at muscle tissue in detail using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and they recorded the electrical activity passing through the muscle to estimate the numbers and the size of surviving nerves.

The good news is that healthy muscles have a form of protection: surviving nerves can send out new branches to rescue muscles and stop them wasting away.

This is more likely to happen in fit people with large, healthy muscles, Prof McPhee said.

Although it is not known why connections between muscles and nerves break down with age, finding out more about muscle loss could help scientists find ways of reversing the condition in the future.

 

BBC/newsbangladesh.com/tbs

Any unauthorised use or reproduction of newsbangladesh.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
Your Comments