The high prevalence of inability and functional dependence is an important problem in elderly people. It is closely related with aging decrease of lean muscle mass that occurs even in healthy subjects. Skeletal muscle mass deficiency, or sarcopenia, results from complex interactions between innervations disturbances, hormones deficiency, inflammatory cytokines and restriction in caloric-proteic ingestion. Loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength results in disability and functional dependency that are associated to frailty in many elderly people. These conditions represent enormous economic and social budget. In this article, we evaluate pathogenesis of sarcopenia and discuss potential therapies.
sarcopenia; elderly; body composition; functional dependence