Department for Health

Over 65s wanted for health study into impact of ageing on muscles

Mon Feb 03 17:12:00 GMT 2014

Ageing muscle studyScientists from the University are hoping to recruit men and women aged 65 – 80 to take part in a new study to investigate the effects of ageing on muscle strength, power and co-ordination.

Through the new study, researchers from our Department for Health, are hoping to understand more about the factors that influence muscle performance in older people.

As a result of the the ageing process, muscles get smaller which contributes to them becoming weaker, leading to frailty in older people. The researchers now want to know more about how to prevent or delay the onset of frailty.

The researchers are interested in muscle size, but also think that other muscle changes, and the way that we control movement, could combine to contribute to muscle weakness.

PhD student in the Department of Health Oly Perkin explained: 'We know that after the age of 65 we lose muscle at a rate of about 2-3 per cent per year. This has a major impact on our ability to do many of the things we want and need to do on a day-to-day basis.'

Dr Keith Stokes added: 'We think that being active can slow down the loss of muscle as we get older and we are trying to find out more about this.'

Participants will be asked to attend the lab at the University on two occasions. In between visits, people will be asked to wear a physical activity monitor for one week and to complete a food diary over three days. During the lab visits, the researchers will measure leg strength, leg power, muscle activation and movement coordination.

In order to participate in the study, volunteers must be non-obese and a non-smoker. You will also not be able to take part in the study if you regularly consume analgesic or anti-inflammatory drugs, prescription or non-prescription; have a history of bone, joint or neuromuscular problems or a current musculoskeletal injury; or if your doctor has told you that you should not exercise.

To volunteer to take part, email Oly Perkin or telephone 01225 384356.