Study aims to help elderly recover after surgery

07/21/05

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have begun a year long study that aims to shed light on the best ways of helping elderly people to maintain their physical independence and recover after operations. The study will draw in volunteers from central and south Edinburgh, who will attend training sessions at the Royal Infirmary.

The group of 40 volunteers will help the team from the University's Geriatric Medicine section by learning simple pushing movements designed to train their leg muscles. The volunteers will also have a muscle biopsy performed, where a small sample of muscle will be taken from the thigh.

Research Assistant Joanna Lynch said: "After illness or surgery, frail elderly people respond to rehabilitation programmes with varying degrees of success. This may be due to the way the muscles of older people respond to training, and we want to examine this process.

Researchers need 20 volunteers aged 75 and older and a control group aged 18 to 30, for the comparative study. Results will be available in a year's time.

Anyone interested in taking part in the study should contact Joanna Lynch, Geriatric Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Room F1424, The New Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, Tel: 0131 242 6910, for further details.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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