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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1998 May;53(3):B204-16.

Techniques to evaluate elderly human muscle function: a physiological basis.

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  • 1School of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Elderly persons appear to exhibit muscle weakness and a slowing in their speed of muscle movement. Objective quantification of these characteristics requires reliable and practical tests to assess the muscle contractile characteristics of elderly people. This review discusses the advantages and limitations of voluntary and electrically stimulated muscle testing techniques used to assess the strength, speed, and fatigability of elderly muscle with a brief explanation of the physiological basis. This review presents the practice and theory underlying the scientific measurement of elderly human muscle function, bridging the gap between the practical issues of measurement and the physiological significance of such measurements.

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