AlgemeneGezondheid.Org

Dilation of blood vessels restores muscle synthesis in elderly

April 29, 2017

Blood sample and muscle biopsy analysis produced estimates of muscle protein synthesis and breakdown. The results were impressive: virtually normal muscle growth in the older subjects given the vasodilator with insulin.

"By giving them this vasodilator, we were able to make our 70-year-olds look like 30-year-olds, at least in terms of muscle growth," said postdoctoral fellow Kyle Timmerman, a lead author of the paper. The study was co-led by medical student and graduate research fellow Jessica Lee.

While the researchers cautioned that larger studies would be needed to confirm their findings, they expressed optimism about vasodilator drugs' potential as tools for keeping older people from falling into frailty, and living happier, healthier and more independent lives.

"If by improving blood flow during and immediately after eating we can improve muscle growth in response to meals in older people, then we're going to have a major new tool to reduce muscle loss with aging," Volpi said. "By itself, that could mean a substantially decreased risk of physical dysfunction and disability."

Source: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston