WHAT IS MUSCLE LOSS? Sarcopenia is the medical term for muscle loss. It starts around age 30 for most people, and continues throughout life. Ultimately, the result of this muscle loss is a loss of strength. Exercise can diminish the impact of the process, even in the elderly. Sarcopenia is like a muscular version of osteoporosis, the weakening of the bones that also often accompanies aging and inactivity.
WHAT ARE GROWTH HORMONES? Growth hormones are produced by the pituitary gland, which can be found at the base of the brain and controls most of the hormones in the body. Prior to puberty, growth hormone stimulates the growth of long bones; in adults, it affects the growth of organs and other tissues. It is sometimes taken illegally by athletes because it helps muscles to grow. Deficiencies in growth hormone are often seen in the elderly; in children, such a deficiency can cut growth rates in half, leading to dwarfism.
This report has been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.