Assesses walking, not other movements requiring coordinated spinal cord activity

 

Does not assess pain, bowel, bladder, or sexual function Tarlov scale

 

5-point scale to assess upper and lower limb locomotion

 

Uses scores ranging from 0 (paraplegia) to 4 (animal can run and has a normal motor system with no other weaknesses); uses MEPs and SSEP (see below)

 

Looks at action potentials in muscle and nerves

 

Hard to assess minor but significant changes in locomotion

 

Does not assess pain, bowel, bladder, or sexual function

 

Durham scale

 

Includes Tarlov scale, as well as functional task, bowel hygiene, and neck position

 

Is better than Tarlov scale at predicting spinal cord disorders

 

Hard to assess minor but significant changes in locomotion

 

Better suited for assessment of incomplete injuries

 

Does not assess pain, bowel, bladder, or sexual function

 

Neuronal activity assessment by electrophysiology

 

Assesses MEPs or SSEP

 

Stimulates corresponding cortical areas of the brain and records response in target nerves to see if connections are still functional

 

Correlates to impairment of locomotor activity

 

Is noninvasive

 

Neuronal activity may not correlate with functional changes

 

Hard to assess subtle but critical improvements to circuitry

 

Does not directly assess pain, bowel, bladder, or sexual function

 

Directed forepaw reaching

 

Looks at coordinated limb and muscle movement

 

Requires rats to reach under a barrier and pick up food with forepaws

 

Limited scale for assessment

 

Does not assess pain, bowel, bladder, or sexual function

 

Grooming response

 

A little water is sprinkled on the head of a rat to elicit grooming with the rat’s forelimbs and measure forelimb function

 

Is a brain stem-mediated spontaneous reflex sensitive to the level and severity of the injury

 

Looks only at forelimb response

 

Difficult to discriminate between loss of communication with brain stem or damage to other part of the nervous system

 

Rearing

 

A rat is placed in a cylinder and is scored on how often it rears and simultaneously touches the walls of the cylinder with its forelimbs

 

Looks only at forelimb response



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