March 10, 2014

What is Frailty & Sarcopenia?

Frailty is a clinical syndrome in which there is an increase in an individual’s vulnerability for developing increased dependency due to three or more of the following criteria: unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion, weakness (grip strength), slow walking speed, and low physical activity. It is considered highly prevalent in old age and to confer high risk for falls, onset of disability, hospitalization, cognitive decline and mortality. Furthermore, Sarcopenia is a geriatric syndrome characterized by the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength with a risk of adverse outcomes (mainly mobility disability) for the patients.

Prevalence of Frailty & Sarcopenia

Older adults are classified in three main groups: robust older adults (60%), dependent older adults (10%), and frail older adults (30%). The frail older adults have a high risk of progressing to dependency but with correct intervention (mainly nutritional & physical exercise), frailty can be reversed to a robust state. Prevalence of Sarcopenia (one of the main components of Frailty) is roughly estimated at 15 to 30% in a general population, with a higher prevalence in frail older adults.

The role of nutrition and physical exercise

The two main interventions that have proven to successfully revert Frailty are: nutritional intervention, to obtain satisfactory nutritional status mainly with oral supplementation and physical exercising programs aiming at increasing muscle mass and muscle function. To date, no other intervention has proven to be successful.

The development of new ongoing treatments

The main line of development is in the field of biomarkers, identifying novel imaging techniques to better quantify loss of muscle mass, and in the field of drug development, using myostatin inhibitors.

The IAGG GARN Network

Established by the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), the Global Aging Research Network (GARN) gets together the world’s best research centers dedicated to biological, behavioral and clinical Gerontology. To date, 508 Centers of Expertise have been awarded membership: 273 come from Europe, 113 from Asia/Oceania, 77 from North America, 28 from South America, 9 from Africa and 8 from the Middle East. The Network aims to:

  • foster scientific development in geriatrics and gerontology around the world,
  • develop an international research capacity in Aging,
  • disseminate the latest research findings,
  • promote education of future actors who dedicate their veryday work to older people.

IAGG GARN actions

The actions are realized in cooperation with academics and researchers who bring their expertise and last results on key geriatric issues such as nutrition, Sarcopenia, Frailty, Alzheimer’s disease prevention, dementia, nursing home research etc. Collaborative exchange stimulation among its members and communication on important age-related issues are provided by:

  • organizing workshops, symposium and conferences,
  • submitting consensus papers for publication,
  • supporting the Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA) and the Journal on Aging Research and Clinical Practice (JARCP),
  • disseminating information via communication tools, internet, Newsletters, web applications etc.

Why an international conference?

It is time that science brings solutions to the old population that should benefit in the very near future from the high level research in these fields. This conference will get together scientists from all over the world who will debate on the best ways to screen, identify, assess, treat, and prevent Frailty and Sarcopenia.

The ICFSR2014, a special scientific event

The International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research 2014 (ICFSR2014) will take place from March 12-14, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The event is organized under the auspices of the IAGG GARN Network, in collaboration with the Institute of Ageing of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the University Hospital of Getafe, Madrid, and TUFTS University, Boston. After Toulouse (France) in 2011 and Orlando (USA) in 2012, this third edition expects to welcome 500 participants coming from 45 countries. To date, the preliminary program includes 12 keynote lectures, 11 symposiums, 200 communications and 165 posters selected by the conference Scientific Committee.

Aims of the ICFSR2014 conference

Frailty and Sarcopenia have become major issues for all those concerned by our aging population, and IAGG GARN intends to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals, social workers, families, government authorities etc.

  • Identify, assess, explore and develop tools to delay the outcomes of these phenomena,
  • Promote the implementation of Frailty and Sarcopenia into clinical practice and clinical research,
  • Improve the related care in general hospital settings, nursing homes etc,
  • Empower the primary care physicians in the identification of the vulnerable older person with a view to preventing Frailty and Sarcopenia and all their consequences,
  • Highlight the potential benefits of these findings for the aging population worldwide.

We look forward to welcoming you to Barcelona to communicate on the latest findings of the international scientific community, presented all through this three-day milestone.

How to get free registration for media representatives?

Email: or
During the conference by phone: +33 (0)6 07 10 68 84

How to obtain a press release?

Visit the ICSFR conference website at or download the press release in PDF format.

Email: or
During the conference by phone: +33 (0)6 07 10 68 84.