Behavioral Assessment of Motor in Animal Models of Stroke

Central nervous system damage from stroke or traumatic brain injury may result in severe motor deficits in gait or fine motor skills. Altered gait, decreased muscle tone or strength, and decreased joint stability and mobility are common in stroke survivors, which greatly impacts the quality of life of stroke survivors, but for which no effective countermeasures exist. To develop and improve therapies, motor testing using animal stroke models with symptoms comparable to those of the clinical population is needed.

Fig. 1. A rat's spontaneous forelimb use is assessed using the cylinder test.Fig. 1. A rat's spontaneous forelimb use is assessed using the cylinder test. (Schaar et al., 2010)

Motor Function Assessment Service

Ace Therapeutics offers highly specific motor tests to identify deficits after stroke.

Bederson Scores

We can assess overall neurological function based on the Bederson scores in rat and mouse models of ischemic stroke. This is usually performed within 24 hours of surgery to assess acute stroke outcomes. This test requires no special equipment and is easy to perform.

The Bederson score categorizes rodents on a scale of 0-5.

Grade 0 (no defect) The animal extends both forelimbs toward the floor while suspended above the floor.
Grade 1 (mild defect) The animal exhibits flexion of the forelimbs without any other abnormalities.
Grade 2 (moderate defect) The animal exhibited forelimb flexion and reduced resistance to lateral thrusts on the hemiplegic side
Grade 3 (severe deficit) The animal showed further circling behavior
Grade 4 Animals that showed longitudinal rotation after the stroke
Grade 5 Animals with no movement after stroke

Modified Neurologic Severity Scores (mNSS)

We can perform neurological testing in rodents after stroke based on the mNSS. The results of this test combine multiple aspects of neurologic assessment, including motor function, sensory function, and reflexes, with a total score of 14. One point is given when the animals fail to perform a task or show a reflex. A score of 1~4 indicates mild defects, a score of 5~9 suggests moderate defects, and a score of 10~14 indicates severe defects. The mNSS can be used to assess long-term outcomes in various stroke models and used to assess the neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Open Field Test

We offer open field test (OFT) to assess locomotor ability and exploratory behavior in rat and mouse stroke models. We have access to automated analysis systems, such as video tracking software, that can visualize and analyze mouse routes. In addition, we can collect and analyze immobility time and back behavior for a comprehensive assessment of locomotor ability. Our cutting-edge automated analysis systems eliminate human error and make results more objective.

Pole Test

We offer the pole test to assess overall motor function after stroke in mice. The test is objective and sensitive, enabling assessment of long-term motor function in stroke. In addition, the pole test can be used to assess the neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Foot-Fault Test (Grid Walking Test)

We offer the foot-fault test to assess motor function and limb coordination in stroke animals. To minimize individual differences, we help our clients perform pre-stroke testing to customize post-stroke results. Our foot-fault test is a valid and objective way to assess motor function and limb coordination. In addition, it can assess long-term stroke outcomes in ischemic and hemorrhagic models.

Cylinder Test

We offer the cylinder test to determine asymmetry in limb use after stroke. This test detects long-term stroke outcomes in ischemic stroke and cerebral hemorrhagic models and can be used to assess the neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Corner Test

We offer the corner test to assess the directional pattern of sensorimotor dysfunction in rat and mouse models of unilateral stroke. The test is an objective, quantitative test that can be used to assess sensory-motor asymmetry after ischemic stroke and to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Adhesive Removal Test

We offer the adhesive removal test for use in rodents to assess sensorimotor dysfunction and motor asymmetry. The test can be used to assess long-term stroke outcomes in ischemic models, as well as to assess long-term outcomes and recovery patterns in hemorrhagic stroke. It is an objective and sensitive test for assessing sensorimotor function and can be used in the chronic phase after stroke.

Rotarod Test

We offer the rotarod test to assess balance behavior and locomotion in rodents. The test is sensitive, objective, and quantifiable. It detects balance behavior and motor function in both the acute and chronic phases after a stroke. It can also be used to determine recovery patterns and assess the neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Wire Hanging Test

We offer the wire hanging test to assess multiple aspects of locomotor performance in animal stroke models, including grip strength, endurance, and body fit. This test can assess long-term motor function after stroke and evaluate the neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Skilled Reaching Tasks Test

We offer several skilled reaching tasks to assess limb motor function after stroke, including a series of tasks that train animals to reach for limbs through limited spaces such as slots, stairs, or pipes. This test can assess long-term skilled motor deficits in stroke and evaluate the potential neuroprotective effects of new therapies.

Each test is used differently in different stroke types and the purpose of the test varies. Ace Therapeutics offers highly customized motor behavior tests in stroke animal models to meet specific scientific needs. In addition, new functional motor behavior tests are constantly being developed and validated. If you are interested in our services, please do not hesitate to contact us!

  1. Schaar, K. L., et al. (2010). Functional assessments in the rodent stroke model. Experimental & translational stroke medicine, 2, 1-11.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.
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