Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Androgen therapy boosts muscle strength for older men

20.06.2002


A short course of hormone therapy appears to increase older men’s strength and may help seniors continue their everyday activities throughout the aging process, according to a study released today at the Endocrine Society’s 84th Annual Meeting.



Men over age 60 who took the androgen oxandrolone daily for 12 weeks had significantly stronger muscles in their upper and lower body than men who took a placebo, according to E. Todd Schroeder, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author of the study.

The findings suggest that supplemental androgen therapy might benefit older men who are prone to losing muscle mass-a process known as sarcopenia-as they age. Loss of leg power may interfere with basic activities, such as rising from a chair or walking up stairs. That, in turn, can lead to immobility, eroding independence and depression.


"Our findings are encouraging because a short course of treatment appears to increase muscle mass, strength and power, which can be augmented or maintained with subsequent resistance exercise," Schroeder says. "We are in the process of testing how well such effects are maintained following treatment and to what degree additional exercise improves these changes."

The challenges of maintaining the day-to-day health of seniors are mounting as fast as the nation is aging. By the year 2030, the number of people older than 65 will climb to 70 million in the U.S. alone.

Schroeder’s research aims to preserve the quality of life for many of these older men and women.

In his study, researchers monitored 32 men between 60 and 87 years old. About two-thirds of them were chosen at random to take 20 milligrams daily of oxandrolone, known by the trade name Oxandrin, while the rest took a placebo.

He and his colleagues measured the men’s muscle strength weekly by testing the maximum weight the men could lift with their arms and legs using equipment such as a leg press machine. They also measured muscle mass and other lean tissue using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (commonly called a DEXA scan) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

By the 12th week, men in the oxandrolone group had significantly increased maximal voluntary strength and power in their legs. Scientists have shown that maximal voluntary strength, which is measured by leg extension, is highly correlated with physical function among seniors. Maximal voluntary strength in the arms also was improved.

Study participants made most of their gains within the first six weeks, suggesting that six weeks of treatment may be enough to improve strength and power in older men, Schroeder says. Improvements in muscle strength were proportional with increases in muscle mass.

Androgens are linked to muscle mass in this way:

The body naturally uses the androgen testosterone to stimulate the creation of protein throughout the body, especially in muscle. Testosterone is the most powerful regulator of muscle. But levels of testosterone in the body decline over the course of a lifetime, and loss of muscle is linked to these decreased levels.

A semisynthetic agent (oxandrolone) that acts like testosterone can be used to supplement androgen activity in older persons with low levels of testosterone.

Since androgens increase the building of contractile muscle proteins- called actin and myosin- in the body, researchers believe they can help augment muscle mass that is lost during aging.

Skeletal muscle mass reportedly declines about 15 percent between the third and eighth decades of life, and as much as 30 percent afterward. And muscle seems to be lost in certain key areas such as the arms and thighs, which can especially hurt seniors’ ability to lift groceries, walk quickly, rise from a seated position and climb stairs.

Oxandralone was well-tolerated, Schroeder says, and separate findings from the study group indicated it also benefits body fat.

As people age, they not only lose muscle mass, but they gain fat around the middle, putting them at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and other problems. But in the men taking oxandrolone there was an increase in muscle mass both in the limbs and throughout the body, while the amount of fat carried in the trunk and throughout the body decreased.

Schroeder and colleagues plan to include women in future studies, since androgens also are important for maintaining bone mass and helping to prevent osteoporosis.

While many seniors may want to run to the doctor to ask for androgen therapy, only those seniors with initially low testosterone levels will benefit the most, Schroeder says.


Edward T. Schroeder, Dajun Qian, Yolanda Stewart, Carla Flores, Carmen Martinez, Michael Terk and Fred R. Sattler, "Muscle Strength and Power Changes with 12 Weeks of Oral Androgen Therapy in Older Adult Men," The Endocrine Society’s 84th Annual Meeting. Category: Aging. Presentation 1:45 p.m., June 22.


Jon Weiner | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>