Prevalence of sarcopenia in idiopathic dropped head syndrome patients is similar to healthy volunteers

Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 10;11(1):16213. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95031-5.


Dropped head syndrome (DHS) exhibits cervical deformity due to weakness of the cervical extensor group, and sarcopenia is characterized by progressive and systemic reduction in skeletal muscle mass. These clinical finding are associated with reduced activity of daily living, reduced quality of life, and increased risk of mortality. We collected and reviewed prospective registry data for 16 patients with idiopathic DHS continuously collected without dropping out and 32 healthy individuals who matched their gender and age. The prevalence of sarcopenia and body composition data were compared. There were no differences in the prevalence of sarcopenia, appendicular muscle mass, and leg muscle mass between DHS patients and the healthy elderly. Trunk muscle mass in DHS patients was significantly lower than that in healthy individuals. A significant correlation was found between appendicular muscle mass and trunk muscle mass in healthy subjects but not in DHS patients. Sarcopenia was not associated with the onset of idiopathic DHS. The prevalence of sarcopenia was not high in patients with idiopathic DHS due to the preservation of their appendicular skeletal muscle mass. Patients with DHS were characterized by a significant loss of trunk muscle mass that may be related to the disease but not aging.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology*
  • Sarcopenia / pathology