Drug 'may combat age-related muscle decline'
New research has uncovered the biological mechanism behind the age-related loss of muscle strength, occurring in many people paying for care.
According to the study, published in the online edition of journal Cell Metabolism, researchers have also identified a drug which could help to reverse this process.
Sarcopenia, a withering of the skeletal muscles, begins to appear at around the age of 40 and accelerates after 75, and can be combated by exercise.
Researchers found that this process occurs due to a mechanism similar to that which causes muscular dystrophy.
Study leader Dr Andrew R Marks said: "This is a completely new concept - that the damage that occurs in aging is very similar to what happens in muscular dystrophy.
"Thus as we age we essentially develop an acquired form of muscular dystrophy."
Experimental drug known as S107 acts to stabilise calstabin1 and was seen to improve the condition of mice with sarcopenia.
This follows comments from Steve Halsall, celebrity trainer and fitness entrepreneur, who said that older people should focus on using big muscle groups when exercising, to gain the most benefit from their workout.
Posted by Toby Mynott