Muscle Dysfunction in Malnutrition

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Muscle dysfunction is a common occurrence in malnutrition resulting in poorer functional status, delayed recovery and impaired outcome in chronic and acute disease.Although it is a well-known phenomenon, its pathogenesis is not yet completely understood.Loss of muscle mass undeniably contributes to impaired function, but is not the only factor. Muscle function is known to respond earlier to food deprivation than other nutritional indices, implying further factors to be responsible of the muscle weakness observed in malnutrition.Many recent studies have contributed to shed light on the alterations in muscle cell energetics occurring in malnutrition (i.e. enzyme depletion, mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired oxidative phosporylation and electrolyte disturbances and altered cell membrane potential), suggesting several mechanisms leading to impaired muscle function.

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