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Rehabilitation Physiology Lab

Pendergast DR, NM Fisher and E Calkins. Cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and metabolic alterations with age leading to frailty . J Gerontol: Biol Sci 48(Special Issue):61-67, 1993.

As members of our society live longer, a greater percentage of the population will be older. These demographic changes will stress our social and medical delivery system, unless interventions can alter the course leading to frailty. Maximal aerobic power decreases with age, due to a decrease in cardiac output, and is exacerbated by cardiovascular disease. Asymptomatic aging does not reduce cardiovascular function to an extent that would lead to loss of function. Metabolism, endurance, and contraction velocity and muscle strength remain relatively high until 40, 50, and 60 years of age, respectively. After age 60, there are dramatic decreases (approximately 10% per year) which lead to loss of function and independence. The loss of muscle function leads to an increase in the likelihood of falls (approximately 4-fold). Exercise programs utilizing "aerobic" exercise activities do not lead to an increase in muscle function, whereas programs designed specifically for muscle can increase function and, presumably, reduce the risk of falls and injuries. [References: 53]



Perini R, NM Fisher, A Veicsteinas, DR Pendergast. Aerobic Training and Cardiovascular Responses at Rest and during Exercise in Older Men and Women. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34:700-708, 2002.

Perini R, S Milesi, NM Fisher, DR Pendergast, A Veicsteinas. Heart Rate Variability during Dynamic Exercise in Elderly Males and Females. Eur J Appl Physiol 82(1-2):8-15, 2000.

Fisher NM, DR Pendergast. Improved cardiac output after exercise in the head-down tilt position in elderly subjects. Gerontologist 39 Special Issue I:466, 1999.

Fisher NM, DR Pendergast and E Calkins. Maximal Isometric Torque of Knee Extension as a Function of Muscle Length in Subjects of Advancing age. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 71(10):729-734, 1990.

Fisher NM, DR Pendergast and E Calkins. Muscle Rehabilitation in Impaired Elderly Nursing Home Residents. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 72(3):181-185, 1991.

Pendergast DR, E Calkins, NM Fisher and R Vickers. Muscle Rehabilitation in Nursing Home Residents with Cognitive Impairment: a Pilot Study. Am J Alzheimer Care Rel Dis July/August:: 20-25, 1987.