Spotted rat

What gait can tell: 3 blogs that will help you understand

Thursday, 3 May, 2012

The usefulness of gait is well established in research on spinal cord injury, ataxia, and arthritis. But in fact, research on all disorders that influence gait in any way, can benefit from gait and footfall analysis. Gait is an important part of the behavioral repertoire of animals, and detailed gait analysis is a logical endpoint to take into account.

The cause of gait disturbances

Numerous diseases and disorders affect gait and four categories of origin can be described. First, the central nervous system can be affected, resulting in lack of coordination, ataxia, paralysis, etc. Examples include Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, cerebellar ataxia, and ALS. Second, disorders that originate from the peripheral nervous system can cause similar symptoms. Examples include ischemia and sciatic nerve injury.

Third, if skeletal systems are affected, as is the case with arthritis or knee and ankle injury, symptoms include less use of a paw or limb, compensation by other limbs, irregular step sequences, etc. Fourth and final, the musculature can be affected, for instance by dystrophy.

The benefits of automation

Until recently, gait performance in rodents was not only difficult to quantify, it was also labor intensive. Everybody remembers the old bottle of ink. But you can leave that in the cabinet from now on – modern technology, like CatWalk XT, offers you a better (and less messy) way to do it.

CatWalk XT

Free CatWalk XT white paper on TBI mice testing

The CatWalk XT gait analysis system can be an incredibly useful tool in assessing the subtle motor deficits exhibited by mice post-TBI, making it ideal for detecting deficits that might not be readily observable to researchers. 

But how can you use the CatWalk XT effectively for your own TBI models? We have a few tips!

Don’t miss them!

In the coming weeks we will highlight some of the parameters that CatWalk XT gait analysis automatically calculates and its relevance to your research, from ‘simple’ footprints to sophisticated regularity and coordination indexes. So don’t miss them - sign up to be notified when the blog posts are online!

Other blogs in this series

Other blogs in this series are now online: