Objective clinical assessment of motor function after experimental spinal cord injury in the rat

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✓ A new method was developed for the clinical assessment of motor function in rats after experimental spinal cord injury. The method consists of placing the animal on an inclined plane which can be adjusted to provide a slope of varying grade, and then assessing the maximum angle of the plane at which the animal can maintain its position without falling. The method was used to quantitate motor function in normal rats and in rats subjected to myelectomy, and consistently showed major differences between the two groups. The method has many positive features: the plane is easy to construct and of low cost; and the test is rapid, non-invasive, repeatable, and consistent.

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Address reprint requests to: Charles H. Tator, M.D., Neurosurgical Laboratory, Sunnybrook Medical Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4N 3M5.
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