For Researchers

Frailty is associated with the epigenetic clock but not with telomere length in a German cohort

L.P. Breitling, K.U. Saum, L. Perna, et al.

Clinical Epigenetics. 2016;8:21

The epigenetic clock, in particular epigenetic pre-aging quantified by the so-called DNA methylation age acceleration, has recently suggested to closely correlate with a variety of disease phenotypes. There remains a dearth of data, however, on its association with telomere length and frailty, which can be considered major correlates of age on the genomic and clinical level, respectively. The results of the present study suggest that epigenetic age acceleration is correlated with clinically relevant aging-related phenotypes through pathways unrelated to cellular senescence as assessed by telomere length.

Comparison of Handgrip and Leg Extension Strength in Predicting Slow Gait Speed in Older Adults

M.S. Fragala, D.E. Alley, M.D. Shardell, et al.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016;64(1):144-50

This study aimed at comparing the relative predictive power of handgrip and leg extension strength in predicting slow walking.

Results suggest that handgrip strength may be an adequate measure to predict physical function whereas leg extension strength is only a slightly better predictor of slow gait speed.

Is Trunk Posture in Walking a Better Marker than Gait Speed in Predicting Decline in Function and Subsequent Frailty?

R.A. Merchant, S. Banerji, G. Singh, E. Chew, et al.

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016;17(1):65-70

Older adults are known to compensate well for declining physiological reserve through environmental modification and posture adaptation. This study aimed to analyze and identify significant posture adaptation in older adults that is required to maintain gait speed in the face of increasing vulnerability.
Data of this study suggest that identifying trunk posture adaptation before the onset of decline in gait speed will help in planning interventions in the at-risk community-dwelling older adults even before gait speed declines.

Predictive validity of a two-step tool to map frailty in primary care

J.A.L. van Kempen, H.J. Schers, I. Philp, et al.

BMC Medicine. 2015;13:287

EASY-Care Two step Older people Screening (EASY-Care TOS) is a stepped approach to identify frail older people at risk for negative health outcomes in primary care, and makes use of General Practitioners’ (GPs) readily-available information. This study aimed to determine the predictive value of EASY-Care TOS for negative health outcomes within the year from assessment. GPs applying the EASY-Care TOS procedure, where they only perform additional assessment when they judge this as necessary, can efficiently predict negative health outcomes in their older populations. Moreover, this evaluation is almost as accurate as a complete specialist comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA).

Effects of physical exercise interventions in frail older adults: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

C. de Labra, C. Guimaraes-Pinheiro, A. Maseda, et al.

BMC Geriatrics. 2015;15:154

Physical exercise has demonstrated its beneficial effects in reducing the risk of many adverse outcomes, such as frailty. The major goal of this systematic review of randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) was to investigate the benefits of exercise programs in frail elderly people, considering only those studies where frailty had been defined.
This systematic review suggested that frail older adults seemed to benefit from exercise interventions, although the optimal program remains unclear.

Myostatin antibody (LY2495655) in older weak fallers: a proof-of-concept, randomised, phase 2 trial

C. Becker, S.R. Lord, S.A. Studenski, et al.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015;3:948-957

Myostatin inhibits skeletal muscle growth. The humanised monoclonal antibody LY2495655 (LY) binds and neutralises myostatin. This study aimed to test whether LY increases appendicular lean body mass (aLBM) and improves physical performance in older individuals who have had recent falls and low muscle strength and power. At 24 weeks, the least-squares mean change in aLBM was -0.123 kg in the placebo group and 0.303 kg in the LY group (P < 0.0001). This results show LY treatment increases lean mass and might improve functional measures of muscle power.

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