Functional capacity, muscle fat infiltration, power output, and cognitive impairment in institutionalized frail oldest old

Rejuvenation Res. 2013 Oct;16(5):396-403. doi: 10.1089/rej.2013.1438.


This study examined the neuromuscular and functional performance differences between frail oldest old with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In addition, the associations between functional capacities, muscle mass, strength, and power output of the leg muscles were also examined. Forty-three elderly men and women (91.9±4.1 years) were classified into three groups--the frail group, the frail with MCI group (frail+MCI), and the non-frail group. Strength tests were performed for upper and lower limbs. Functional tests included 5-meter habitual gait, timed up-and-go (TUG), dual task performance, balance, and rise from a chair ability. Incidence of falls was assessed using questionnaires. The thigh muscle mass and attenuation were assessed using computed tomography. There were no differences between the frail and frail+MCI groups for all the functional variables analyzed, except in the cognitive score of the TUG with verbal task, which frail showed greater performance than the frail+MCI group. Significant associations were observed between the functional performance, incidence of falls, muscle mass, strength, and power in the frail and frail+MCI groups (r=-0.73 to r=0.83, p<0.01 to p<0.05). These results suggest that the frail oldest old with and without MCI have similar functional and neuromuscular outcomes. Furthermore, the functional outcomes and incidences of falls are associated with muscle mass, strength, and power in the frail elderly population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization*
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis