About this Research Topic
Robust data indicate that changes in body composition occurring during acute and chronic diseases are clinically relevant. These modifications are commonly associated with body weight loss and/or low body mass index (BMI), or with the presence of an obese phenotype. More recently, clinical evidences have highlighted the crucial role of low muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) in negatively affecting patient’s outcomes (i.e., morbidity, mortality, and hospitalization rate) in longitudinal settings.
Muscle mass is the tissue devoted to major endocrine and metabolic functions, including its interaction with the central nervous system, the bone and the adipose tissue. Also, the skeletal muscle produces peptides interfering with different catabolic and anabolic pathways likely by direct and indirect effects of inflammation and many other factors, including insulin resistance.
Low muscle mass and function may affect the response to therapies, including anticancer treatments, and may negatively affect autonomy, quality of life and contributing to the development of frailty.
In fact, frailty is often associated with sarcopenia and the diagnosis of both conditions is extremely challenging. Instrumental and clinical tools are available to assess frailty and sarcopenia, however, with some limits that should be considered in clinical practice.
The identification of these conditions should be followed by targeted therapeutic interventions aimed at improving long-term outcome(s).
Pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies should be implemented to maintain and improve muscle mass and quality and to enhance whole body resilience to external stressors.
Keywords: Sarcopenia, Muscle mass, Chornic diseases, Muscle, Resilience
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