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Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:398960. doi: 10.1155/2014/398960. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Resistance exercise with older fallers: its impact on intermuscular adipose tissue.

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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Utah, 520 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.
Department of Radiology, University of Utah, 30 N 1900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.



Greater skeletal muscle fat infiltration occurs with age and contributes to numerous negative health outcomes. The primary purpose was to determine whether intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) can be influenced by an exercise intervention and if a greater reduction in IMAT occurs with eccentric versus traditional resistance training.


Seventy-seven older adults (age 75.5 ± 6.8) with multiple comorbidities and a history of falling completed a three-month exercise intervention paired with either eccentric or traditional resistance training. MRI of the mid-thigh was examined at three time points to determine changes in muscle composition after intervention.


No differences in IMAT were observed over time, and there were no differences in IMAT response between intervention groups. Participants in the traditional group lost a significant amount of lean tissue (P = 0.007) in the nine months after intervention, while participants in the eccentric group did not (P = 0.32). When IMAT levels were partitioned into high and low IMAT groups, there were differential IMAT responses to intervention with the high group lowering thigh IMAT.


There is no decrease in thigh IMAT after a three-month exercise intervention in older adults at risk for falling and no benefit to eccentric training over traditional resistance training for reducing IMAT in these individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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