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Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2004 Nov;9(2):345-61.

Emerging drugs for sarcopenia: age-related muscle wasting.

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The University of Melbourne, Department of Physiology and Centre for Neuroscience, Victoria, 3010, Australia.


Sarcopenia is the term widely used to describe the progressive loss of muscle mass with advancing age. Even before significant muscle wasting becomes apparent, ageing is associated with a slowing of movement and a gradual decline in muscle strength, factors that increase the risk of injury from sudden falls and the reliance of the frail elderly on assistance in accomplishing even basic tasks of independent living. Sarcopenia is recognised as one of the major public health problems now facing industrialised nations, and its effects are expected to place increasing demands on public healthcare systems worldwide. Although the effects of ageing on skeletal muscle are unlikely to be halted or reversed, the underlying mechanisms responsible for these deleterious changes present numerous targets for drug discovery with potential opportunities to attenuate muscle wasting, improve muscle function, and preserve functional independence. Very few drugs have been developed with sarcopenia specifically in mind. However, because many of the effects of ageing on skeletal muscle resemble those indicated in many neuromuscular disorders, drugs that target neurodegenerative diseases may also have important relevance for treating age-related muscle wasting and weakness. This review describes a selection of the emerging drugs that have been developed during the period 1997 - 2004, relevant to sarcopenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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