, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 725-730
Date: 10 Dec 2011

Designing phase II B trials in sarcopenia: The best target population

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Despite the existing limitations and controversies regarding the definition of sarcopenia and its clinical consequences, the current scientific evidence strongly suggests that muscle decline is a primary determinant of the disabling process (and likely of other major health-related events). In fact, the muscle loss (in terms of mass as well as strength) occurring with aging has been growingly associated with mobility impairment and disability in older persons. Unfortunately, current evidence is mainly from observational studies. Times are mature to begin testing interventions aimed at modifying the sarcopenia process through the design and development of specific clinical trials. Considering the emergence of many promising interventions towards this age-related condition (e.g., physical exercise [in particular, resistance training], testosterone, antioxidant supplementations), the need for Phase II trial designs is high. In the present report, we discuss which are the major issues related to the design of Phase II clinical trials on sarcopenia with particular focus on the participant’s characteristics to be considered as possible inclusion and exclusion criteria.