A simplified procedure for the quantitative measurement of neurological deficits after forebrain ischemia in mice

Rodolfo Rodriguez, Jacinto Santiago-Mejia, Claudia Gomez, Eduardo Ramirez San-Juan

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This study describes a comprehensive method to assess neurological deficits after brain ischemia produced by sequential common carotid artery sectioning (SCAS) in aged mice, and a scale to determine the degree of functional incapacity of ischemic animals. The method involves an initial phase of undisturbed observation and a later manipulative phase during which each animal is subjected to a sequence of very simple manipulations. Sham-operated animals demonstrated 96% survival throughout the study period (72 h), whereas the 24, 48 and 72 h survival rates of SCAS-mice were 48, 38 and 36%, respectively. In the surviving SCAS-mice, we detected a total of 23 neurological alterations throughout the observation period (72 h); the most frequent alterations were: motor incoordination, abnormal body position, hypomobility, decreased body tone and muscular strength, tremor, hunched back, passivity, forelimb flexion and ataxic gait. Based on these alterations, we used a global scale that comprises 10 progressive grades beyond 0 (normal), extending to status 10 (death due to SCAS), with higher scores indicating greater deficit. The median neurological scores for sham-operated animals were 1.36, 1.48 and 1.32 at 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively, whereas total neurological scores in SCAS-mice of 6.1, 6.8 and 7.4, at 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively, were substantially greater than those observed in sham-operated animals. The simplicity of the procedure, herein described, to measure the functional neurological condition of ischemic animals, and the remarkable level of functional impairment produced by SCAS offer the possiblity to test the efficacy of putative stroke therapies and to monitor progress of deficits over time in groups of animals. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2005

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