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JFSF Vol 5, No 2, June 2020, p.38-41

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-05-038


Opinion Article

Sarcopenia in Hemiplegia

Maria C. Papadatou1,2

  1. National Center of Rehabilitation, Athens, Greece
  2. National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laboratory Research of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Greece

Keywords: Disability, Muscle strength, Muscle wasting, Sarcopenia, Stroke


Sarcopenia is a disease characterized by quantitative and qualitative degeneration of the skeletal muscles and it primarily presents with a decline in the muscle strength. It frequently occurs in patients after a cerebrovascular accident due to a combination of various factors, such as the brain injury, structural adaptations, limited physical activity as long as malnutrition. Most of the articles and reviews concerning stroke-related sarcopenia are limited and usually are discussing about the factors and causes that may lead to the muscle wasting and the particular characteristics that distinguish it from age-related sarcopenia. As a result, even though sarcopenia is described as a medical entity, it appears to lack the attention that requires, limiting the maximum therapeutic effect a patient can obtain. Suggestions have been made concerning general treatment and management of sarcopenia, associated with exercise, diet and the use of medical preparations, lacking though disease-specific guidelines for management, treatment and possibly prevention of stroke-related sarcopenia. Nowadays, it is considered of major importance that the medical community should be properly informed and to raise awareness on this particular issue aiming to a better and holistic management of the patients after a cerebrovascular accident, in order to reduce morbidity and disability that both are sequelae that reduce quality of life.