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Brian Clark Leads the Study of the Loss of Muscle Strength in Aging Populations

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Dr. Brian Clark leads a team of Ohio University researchers trying to unravel the links between the human nervous system and the loss of muscle strength in elderly people. Clark is a professor of physiology and neuroscience in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and also is a professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University. WOUB’s Tom Hodson asks Clark about his recent cutting-edge research and studies.

Currently, Clark heads the four-decade old Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI) which studies muscle, nerve and bone health. It also studies pain disorders and healthy aging. Currently, however, Clark leads a major study called the UnCode Study (Unravelling the Neural Contributors of Dynapenia in Elders). He translates that as meaning how nerves are related to the loss of muscle strength in our senior population. “Muscles are the puppets of the nervous system,” Clark says. “We are studying the relationships between the two and we also are investigating what elders can do to stop or reverse the loss of muscle strength.” UnCode is trying to identify and study the “neurological causes of muscle weakness associated with aging.” It then is trying to investigate “intervention strategies” to improve muscle and physical performance in our senior population. Two factors that can improve muscle strength are good nutrition and the requirement of exercise in some fashion. If people in this region are interested in participating in Dr. Clark’s study, send an email to or call 740-566-6664. Additional information about UnCode also is available at