Sarcopenia and Ageing

Subcell Biochem. 2023:103:95-120. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-26576-1_6.


Musculoskeletal ageing is a major health challenge as muscles and bones constitute around 55-60% of body weight. Ageing muscles will result in sarcopenia that is characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength with a risk of adverse outcomes. In recent years, a few consensus panels provide new definitions for sarcopenia. It was officially recognized as a disease in 2016 with an ICD-10-CM disease code, M62.84, in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). With the new definitions, there are many studies emerging to investigate the pathogenesis of sarcopenia, exploring new interventions to treat sarcopenia and evaluating the efficacy of combination treatments for sarcopenia. The scope of this chapter is to summarize and appraise the evidence in terms of (1) clinical signs, symptoms, screening, and diagnosis, (2) pathogenesis of sarcopenia with emphasis on mitochondrial dysfunction, intramuscular fat infiltration and neuromuscular junction deterioration, and (3) current treatments with regard to physical exercises and nutritional supplement.

Keywords: Intramuscular fat infiltration; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Muscle mass; Muscle strength; Myosteatosis; Neuromuscular junction; Nutrition; Physical exercise; Sarcopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Sarcopenia* / diagnosis
  • Sarcopenia* / therapy