Aging of skeletal muscle fibers.


Aging has become an important topic for scientific research because life expectancy and the number of men and women in older age groups have increased dramatically in the last century. This is true in most countries of the world including the Republic of Korea and the United States. From a rehabilitation perspective, the most important associated issue is a progressive decline in functional capacity and independence. Sarcopenia is partly responsible for this decline. Many changes underlying the loss of muscle mass and force-generating capacity of skeletal muscle can be understood at the cellular and molecular levels. Muscle size and architecture are both altered with advanced adult age. Further, changes in myofibers include impairments in several physiological domains including muscle fiber activation, excitation-contraction coupling, actin-myosin cross-bridge interaction, energy production, and repair and regeneration. A thorough understanding of these alterations can lead to the design of improved preventative and rehabilitative interventions, such as personalized exercise training programs.