Welcome to the Australian & New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia & Frailty Research (ANZSSFR)
ANZSSFR is a professional, scientific society dedicated to the promotion of clinical, basic and translational research on sarcopenia and frailty in Australia and New Zealand. We aim to disseminate current knowledge of sarcopenia and frailty, along with deepening the understanding of muscle, bone and joint disease.
Our research on sarcopenia, osteoporosis and their combination, often culminating in disability and frailty, aims to identify, prevent and treat these conditions with the goal to translate evidence-based research and knowledge into clinical and real-world practice to better support older people in ageing well. We believe that understanding the links between sarcopenia, frailty and osteoporosis assists in designing research and improving interventions in clinical practice that may help older people to reduce their risk of disease and live independently and without disability into old age.
ANZSSFR also acts to represent the needs of its members through annual scientific meetings, as well as the wider clinical and lay community through advocacy and interaction with government, key stakeholders and related societies.
What is sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality, and strength associated with ageing. It is estimated that every one of us will experience 0.5–1% loss of skeletal muscle mass per year after the age of 50.
This progressive and generalised loss of muscle mass, quality and strength brings with it the risk of adverse outcomes such as physical disability, poor quality of life and earlier death. The concept of sarcopenia can be linked to a single organ system (skeletal muscle, bone and tissues) and can be considered an acute or chronic organ deficiency.
Sarcopenia is caused by an imbalance between signals for muscle cell growth and signals for teardown. Cell growth processes are called "anabolism," and cell teardown processes are called "catabolism". For example, growth hormones act with protein-destroying enzymes to keep muscle steady through a cycle of growth, stress or injury, destruction and then healing. This cycle is always occurring, and when things are in balance, muscle keeps its strength over time. However, during ageing, the body becomes resistant to the normal growth signals, tipping the balance toward catabolism and muscle loss.