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Recent advances in the biology and therapy of muscle wasting


Address for correspondence: Ronnenn Roubenoff, Musculoskeletal Translational Medicine, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, 220 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.


The recent advances in our understanding of the biology of muscle, and how anabolic and catabolic stimuli interact to control muscle mass and function, have led to new interest in pharmacological treatment of muscle wasting. Loss of muscle occurs as a consequence of many chronic diseases (cachexia), as well as normal aging (sarcopenia). Although anabolic effects of exercise on muscle have been know for many years, the development of pharmacological treatment for muscle loss is in its infancy. However, there is growing excitement among researchers in this field that developments may yield new treatments for muscle wasting in the future.