2. Aging of the Human Neuromuscular System: Clinical Considerations

  1. Valerie Askanas MD, PhD and
  2. W. King Engel MD
  1. W. King Engel MD and
  2. Valerie Askanas MD, PhD

Published Online: 19 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444398311.ch2

Muscle Aging, Inclusion-Body Myositis and Myopathies

Muscle Aging, Inclusion-Body Myositis and Myopathies

How to Cite

Engel, W. K. and Askanas, V. (2012) Aging of the Human Neuromuscular System: Clinical Considerations, in Muscle Aging, Inclusion-Body Myositis and Myopathies (eds V. Askanas and W. K. Engel), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444398311.ch2

Editor Information

  1. Departments of Neurology and Pathology, University of Southern California Neuromuscular Center, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. Departments of Neurology and Pathology, University of Southern California Neuromuscular Center, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 DEC 2011
  2. Published Print: 27 JAN 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405196468

Online ISBN: 9781444398311

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Keywords:

  • aging era;
  • human neuromuscular system;
  • Diabetic neuropathy;
  • “Pseudo-ALS”;
  • XMRV retrovirus;
  • Therapeutic principles

Summary

This chapter represents the authors' personal experiences and concepts related to clinical and pathogenic aspects of human neuromuscular aging. These are based on many years of taking care of a large number of patients, including many elderly patients, with a variety of neuromuscular diseases. Emphasis is given to various treatable human neuromuscular disorders associated with aging. We stress that the phrase “you are just getting old” is not an acceptable medical diagnosis. “Aging” is not a satisfactory explanation for the cause of neuromuscular symptoms, even though aging is a risk factor for a number of disorders in the elderly. A full neuromuscular evaluation is needed to analyze the cause of the neuromuscular problem, or problems, in an aging patient, with the objective being to improve the patient, or at least to stop progression. Such benefits already can be provided to some neuromuscular disorders of aging, but to counteract relentless weakening of neuromuscular functions in more disorders will require better understanding of what is happening at the cellular and molecular levels.