The metabolomics side of frailty: Toward personalized medicine for the aged

Anna Picca, Hélio José Coelho-Junior, Matteo Cesari, Federico Marini, Alfredo Miccheli, Jacopo Gervasoni, Maurizio Bossola, Francesco Landi, Roberto Bernabei, Emanuele Marzetti, Riccardo Calvani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Frailty encompasses several domains (i.e., metabolic, physical, cognitive). The multisystem derangements underlying frailty pathophysiology, its phenotypic heterogeneity, and the fluctuations of individuals across severity states have hampered a comprehensive appraisal of the condition. Circulating biomarkers emerged as an alleged tool for capturing this complexity and, as proxies for organismal metabolic changes, may hold the advantages of: 1) supporting diagnosis, 2) tracking the progression, 3) assisting healthcare professionals in clinical and therapeutic decision-making, and 4) verifying the efficacy of an intervention before measurable clinical manifestations occur. Among available analytical tools, metabolomics are able to identify and quantify the (ideally) whole repertoire of small molecules in biological matrices (i.e., cells, tissues, and biological fluids). Results of metabolomics analysis may define the final output of genome-environment interactions at the individual level. This entire collection of metabolites is called “metabolome” and is highly dynamic. Here, we discuss how monitoring the dynamics of metabolic profiles may provide a read-out of the environmental and clinical disturbances affecting cell homeostasis in frailty-associated conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110692
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2019


  • Biomarkers
  • Endophenotype
  • Metabotype
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Omics
  • Person-tailored

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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