Detailed assessments of abnormal motor syndromes in rodents are a challenging but necessary task facing many investigators interested in elucidating pathogenesis and discovering new treatments for movement disorders. Currently a large number of tests are available for motor function, as well as several strategies for selecting the most appropriate tests for specific purposes; but the development of more refined techniques for discriminating among the many different types of movement disorders is still needed.

TABLE 6 Discriminating Ataxia from Dystonia



Morphology Falling

Righting after Falls Muscle Tone Resting Postures Mortality

Clumsiness not due to weakness or superimposed involuntary movement

Imprecise and inaccurate foot placement Rapid

Normal or decreased



Twisting pattern movements with sustained abnormal postures

Propelled to side by stiffened or twisting limbs






This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NS40470 and NS33592).


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