Stephen Meriney, PhD
Competition Sponsor: US National Academy of Medicine
More than one third of adults aged 65 and older will fall each year. The Centers for Disease Control report that falls are the leading cause of death relating to injury, and that aged adults are at the greatest risk. Falls in the elderly most often result from frailty, which is caused by muscle weakness, balance deficits, and gait instability. Dynapenia (defined as the age-induced loss of muscle strength) has been used to define weakness in the elderly and incorporates both neurological and muscle factors. Therefore, strategies to prevent dynapenia and to improve quality of life for the elderly are desperately needed. In this proposal, we will utilize a novel compound (GV-58) to enhance weakened communication at aged contacts between nerve and muscle. We hypothesize that daily treatment with GV-58 will not only directly strengthen these nerve-muscle contacts, but also trigger trophic effects that will further support muscle strength. We expect that these effects will reverse or prevent age-induced loss of muscle strength. Our goal is to transform the management of frailty in older adults.