The purposes of this study were to evaluate the relationship between age and changes in physical measurements after exercise intervention and to investigate the trainability of the older elderly. Two hundred seventy-six community-dwelling people aged 60 years and older practiced exercise intervention for 3 months. The measurements of physical functions were one-legged standing with eyes open and closed (OLS-O, OLS-C), functional reach test (FR), timed up and go test (TUG), maximum walking velocity, flexibility, and muscle strength. We evaluated the associations between age and the changes in these physical measurements. All measurements except for OLS-C significantly improved after intervention. The magnitude of the changes in hand-grip strength and FR after the intervention showed weak negative correlations with the subject's age, but other measurements showed no correlations. In addition, there were no differences between younger elderly persons and older elderly persons with regard to changes in any measurements. These results suggested that the exercise intervention we applied could improve physical fitness in community-dwelling older people, regardless of their age. The older elderly were comparable to the younger elderly in trainability to improve physical fitness.
Purpose: The obstacle negotiation gait (ONG) is a fundamental activity of daily living. In cerebrovascular hemiplegic patients (stroke patients), the weight-bearing rate (WBR) on the paretic limb necessary for an independent ONG was studied. Methods: One hundred and seventeen stroke patients were involved. The patients' average age at the time of the study was 67 years, and the average time from stroke onset was 102 days. There were 68 men and 49 women. Seventy patients were right hemiplegics, and 47 were left hemiplegics. The correlations between ONG and age, sex, body mass index (BMI), time from stroke onset, muscle strength of both the paretic and non-paretic limbs, Brunnstrom stage of the lower limbs, deep sensation, and the WBR on both the paretic and non- paretic limbs were studied. Patients who could perform ONG independently and safely were categorized as the independent group (IG), and those who needed observation or any assistance were categorized as the dependent group (DG). Results: The BMI, muscle strength of both the paretic and non-paretic limbs, Brunnstrom stage of the lower limbs, deep sensation and the WBR for both the paretic and non-paretic limbs were significantly different between the IG and DG groups. In particular, the WBR on the paretic limb was found to correlate significantly with the ONG, and a WBR value of 80.5% on the paretic limb gave a clear cut-off value. Conclusion: Although multiple factors influenced the ONG of stroke patients, the WBR on the paretic limb was the most influential.
Background and Purpose: Clinically, disuse muscle atrophy is often seen among patients who are severely debilited and are on prolonged bed rest. Common physical therapy interventions are not successful in preventing disuse muscle atrophy early in the medical treatment of critically ill patients. In situations such as this, the use of a β2-adrenergic agonist such as clenbuterol (Cb) may be of benefit in preventing atrophy. Also, recent studies have suggested that stretching is possible in preventing disuse muscle atrophy and the decline in muscle strength. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Cb medication combined with stretching (ST) on rat soleus muscle (SOL) during the progression of disuse muscle atrophy. Subjects: Thirty-five male Wistar rats were used in this study. Methods: The rats were divided into five groups: control (CON), hindlimb-unweighting (HU) only, HU+ST, HU+Cb medication, and HU+ST+Cb groups. The right SOL in stretching groups was maintained a stretched position for one hour daily by passively dorsiflexing the ankle joint under non-anesthesia. The experimental period was 2 weeks. Results: In the ST group, peak twitch tension per cross-sectional area in soleus muscle was significantly larger than in the Cb group, while there was no significant difference between the CON and ST groups. The conversion of type I to type II fibers that was observed in the Cb group was not recognized in the combined ST and Cb group. Discussion and Conclusion: Distinct effect of combined stretching and Cb medication was not recognized statistically. The results indicate that Cb affects muscle morphological characteristics while stretching affects contractile properties. These data suggest that a combined ST and Cb intervention considered the type-specificity of muscle fiber may be need more consideration for preventing disuse muscle atrophy and the decline in muscle strength.