Concurrent Assessment of Skeletal Muscle Mass and Synthesis/Breakdown in Old Age

2019-10-09 09:21:35 | BioPortfolio


This study involves minimally-invasive techniques to measure muscle mass, muscle protein breakdown and synthesis simultaneously in older age.


Most people will have noticed that with age people become frail. This is principally due to wasting of skeletal muscle known as "sarcopenia". Crucially, sarcopenia is more than just a symptom of weakness and poor functional capacity; it exposes people to an increased risk of falls and fractures, impacting quality of life, independence, health status and ultimately lifespan. Muscles represent the largest organ in the body, making up over 50% of total body weight. Most people know that skeletal muscles are important for movement and to support the skeleton, but not everyone is aware of how important muscles are for whole-body health. For example, muscles represent a vast protein store containing amino acids (the building blocks of protein) which can be broken down in times of fasting, infection and disease in order to provide energy to help other vital organs. Because of the detrimental effects on health, and the associated health costs, sarcopenia is of grave concern. Therefore, there is a significant clinical need to pre-identify at-risk older individuals who have low muscle mass so that they can be offered an intervention (of diet, exercise or drug-based) before they suffer any of the potential problems outlined above. Current techniques for measuring whole-body muscle mass, including MRI and CT are time-consuming, expensive and in huge demand in hospital settings, meaning that muscle wasting conditions such as sarcopenia often go undiagnosed. In this project we propose a potential solution to this problem by developing a diagnostic of sarcopenia that requires only a single drink and subsequent urine collection. In addition, throughout this project we aim to explore the mechanisms underlying muscle wasting by assessing the muscle of those with low and 'normal' muscle mass.

Study Design




D3-Creatine, Deuterium Oxide, D3-3-methylhistidine


Royal Derby Hospital Medical School
United Kingdom
DE22 3DT




University of Nottingham

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-09T09:21:35-0400

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