Determining the cortical, spinal and muscular adaptations to strength-training in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Siddique, Ummatul, Frazer, Ashlyn, Avela, Janne, Walker, Simon J., Ahtiainen, Juha, Howatson, Glyn, Tallent, Jamie and Kidgell, Dawson (2022) Determining the cortical, spinal and muscular adaptations to strength-training in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews, 82. p. 101746. ISSN 1568-1637

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There are observable decreases in muscle strength as a result of ageing that occur from the age of 40, which is thought to occur as a result of changes within the neuromuscular system. Strength-training in older adults is a suitable intervention that may counteract the age-related loss in force production. The neuromuscular adaptations (i.e., cortical, spinal and muscular) to strength-training in older adults is largely equivocal and a systematic review with meta-analysis will serve to clarify the present circumstances regarding the benefits of strength-training in older adults. 20 studies entered the meta-analysis and were analysed using a random-effects model. A best evidence synthesis that included 36 studies was performed for variables that had insufficient data for metaanalysis. One study entered both. There was strong evidence that strength-training increases maximal force production and rate of force development and muscle activation in older adults. There was limited evidence for strength-training to improve voluntary-activation, the volitional-wave and spinal excitability, but strong evidence for increased muscle mass. The findings suggest that strength-training performed between 2-12 weeks increases strength, rate of force development and muscle activation, which likely improves motoneurone excitability by increased motor unit recruitment and improved discharge rates.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Ummatul Siddique is supported by a Monash University Graduate Scholarship. Jamie Tallent is supported by an International Leverhulme Fellowship Award.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing, corticospinal inhibition, force production, motoneurone, rate of force development
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2022 10:41
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:30

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