Low-Cost Gait Analysis for Behavioral Phenotyping of Mouse Models of Neuromuscular Disease.
Measurement of animal locomotion is a common behavioral tool used to describe the phenotype of a given disease, injury, or drug model. The low-cost method of gait analysis demonstrated here is a simple but effective measure of gait abnormalities in murine models. Footprints are analyzed by painting a mouse's feet with non-toxic washable paint and allowing the subject to walk through a tunnel on a sheet of paper. The design of the testing tunnel takes advantage of natural mouse behavior and their affinity for small dark places. The stride length, stride width, and toe spread of each mouse is easily measured using a ruler and a pencil. This is a well-established and reliable method, and it generates several metrics that are analogous to digital systems. This approach is sensitive enough to detect changes in stride early in phenotype presentation, and due to its non-invasive approach, it allows for testing of groups across life-span or phenotypic presentation.
Wertman, V; Gromova, A; La Spada, AR; Cortes, CJ
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