Neuromuscular adaptations to healthy aging
APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY NUTRITION AND METABOLISM
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Even in the absence of disease or disability, aging is associated with marked physiological adaptations within the neuromuscular system. An ability to perform activities of daily living and maintain independence with advanced age is reliant on the health of the neuromuscular system. Hence, it is critical to elucidate the age-related adaptations that occur within the central nervous system and the associated muscles to design interventions to maintain or improve neuromuscular function in the elderly. This brief review focuses on the neural alterations observed at both spinal and supraspinal levels in healthy humans in their seventh decade and beyond. The topics addressed are motor unit loss and remodelling, neural drive, and responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex.