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Aging (Milano). 1998 Dec;10(6):471-8.

The relationship of peripheral motor nerve conduction velocity to age-associated loss of grip strength.

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National Institute on Aging, Gerontology Research Center, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Age-associated loss of muscle strength is attributed to decreasing muscle mass. Both strength and mass are dependent on peripheral innervation. However, the association between nerve function and age-associated strength loss has not been studied directly. The median nerve contribution to grip strength was estimated using nerve conduction velocity (NCV). Grip strength and NCV were measured in 197 male participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (age 59.0 +/- 13.9 years). Multiple regression and path analyses were used separately to examine the association between median NCV and grip strength. Grip strength showed a negative quadratic relationship with increasing age (r2 = 0.32, p < 0.001) with a major change in slope occurring after 64.7 years of age. Median NCV (r2 = 0.14, p < 0.001) declined linearly with age. Median NCV significantly contributed to grip strength (p < 0.001) while controlling for forearm muscle mass (forearm circumference), self-reported 24-hour caloric expenditures, and age. The median nerve has an independent contribution to age-associated levels of muscle strength. The level of the effect was smaller than what could be attributed to forearm muscle mass or age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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