Walking speed

 

Is used to assess locomotor training techniques

 

Does not assess sensory modalities influenced by muscle strength

 

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

 

Rotor rod

 

Is used to examine sensory feedback, coordination, and muscle strength required for locomotion

 

Is performed by placing the animal on a rotating bar and timing how long it takes for animal to lose balance

 

Only measures recovery of locomotion and does not assess restoration of fine motor control or other complications associated with spinal cord injury Inclined plane

 

Is used to examine sensory feedback, coordination, and muscle strength required for locomotion

 

Is performed by placing animal on a ramp of a preset incline

 

Only measures recovery of locomotion and does not assess restoration of fine motor control or other complications associated with spinal cord injury

 

Footprint

 

Examines an animal’s gait by analyzing paw position and toe drags

 

Only measures recovery of locomotion and does not assess restoration of fine motor control

 

Grid walking

 

Tests the ability of mice and rats to walk over a wire mesh grid

 

Only investigates coordinated walking and not fine motor control

 

Forepaw withdrawal

 

Investigates recovery of heat perception

 

The forepaw is placed on a heat block and the time that it takes for the animal to withdraw it is measured

 

Forepaw withdrawal requires motor function

 

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

 

Assessment of autonomic dysreflexia

 

Changes in blood pressure are determined by comparing the animals baseline blood pressure and peak blood pressure during moderate cutaneous pinches to the skin rostral and caudal to the injury

 

Autonomic dysreflexia is also characterized in patients by sweating, flushed skin, and piloerection, which are not assessed in mouse model

Morphological assessment of recovery

 

Histology

 

Is used to look at the morphology of axons and assess the degree of tissue sparing, injury, and recovery



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