This essay begins by proposing that muscle weakness of old age from sarcopenia is due in large part to reduced capillary density in the muscles, as documented in 9 reports of aged persons and animals. Capillary density (CD) is determined by local levels of various angiogenic factors, which also decline in muscles with aging, as reported in 7 studies of old persons and animals. There are also numerous reports of reduced CD in the aged brain and other studies showing reduced CD in the kidney and heart of aged animals. Thus a waning angiogenesis throughout the body may be a natural occurrence in later years and may account significantly for the lesser ailments (physical and cognitive) of elderly people. Old age is regarded here as a deficiency state which may be corrected by therapeutic angiogenesis, much as a hormonal deficiency can be relieved by the appropriate hormone therapy. Such therapy could employ recombinant angiogenic factors which are now commercially available.

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Published in Ageing Research Reviews, v. 23, part B, p. 139-153.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

© 2015. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

The document available for download is the author's post-peer-review final draft of the article.

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