Assessment of sarcopenia: from clinical practice to research

A.M. Martone, E. Marzetti, R. Calvani, A. Picca, M. Tosato, R. Bernabei, F. Landi

Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “Agostino Gemelli” IRCSS, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and function that occurs in aging. Multiple factors are involved in the pathogenesis of sarcopenia, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, protein synthesis alteration, and poor exercise. Both European (EWGSOP) and American (FNIH) diagnostic criteria are currently available. Sarcopenia could represent the biological substrate of physical frailty. In every older patient presenting compatible clinical features, the presence of sarcopenia should be screened with validated questionnaires such as SARC-F. The DXA evaluation is considered the current gold standard technique both in research and in clinical practice for the assessment of muscle mass. In clinical practice, the measurement of muscle strength by handgrip strength is recommended, while physical performance should be primarily assessed by SPPB test. In this review, we report current strategies to counteract sarcopenia, which consist of adequate protein intake and physical exercise.

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