The loss of muscle force, also known as dynapenia, has multiple causes. It could be that your muscles became weaker as they lost mass (sarcopenia), or they cannot be activated efficiently (deficit in neuromuscular control) or because the link between brain and muscles, both working fine per se, is broken (innervation problem).
Each of the above would require a different and specific treatment.
The ForceLoss project aims to enable the identification of the originating cause (differential diagnosis) of dynapenia, leveraging on the use of computer models of the human musculoskeletal system to support clinical decision making.
Such models, built off a person’s own data (e.g., medical imaging data), will be employed to simulate a maximal contraction during knee extension.
Different scenarios (e.g., real vs optimal) will be tested and the simulation results will be compared to real data collected on the same person in the lab and data from a healthy population.
The ForceLoss solution may be of further use in the design of clinical trials for drugs aiming to prevent sarcopenia, where the enrollment of patients with dynapenia not due to sarcopenia could be detrimental.