Neuroscience Poster Session

Re: , Spinal Cord Injury in Rats and Humans

G. Metz

On Sat Dec 12, Michel Ladouceur wrote
>Hi Dr Metz,

>Thank you for your nice poster. I hope you are enjoying the meeting. I have a question regarding the locomotor rating scale you are using for the rats. My question is what are the items that are scored? Since it is well known that spinalised rats can recover locomotion on a treadmill fairly rapidly. Is it possible that the BBB motor score uses locomotor tasks involving a greater integration between supraspinal structures and locomotor related centers in the spinal cord.

>Thank you for your answer

Dear Dr Ladouceur,

Thanks for your comment and the interest in our poster.

Refering your question the so-called BBB scale is a 21-point scale for testing normal overground locomotion (Basso DM, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, J Neurotrauma 1995; 12(1): 1-21.). It is based on the observation of hindlimb movements of a rat freely moving in an open field. In this scale, parameters such as joint movements, the ability for weight support, limb coordination, foot placement and gait stability are rated. A score of 0 indicated no observable hindlimb movement, a score of 21 points is reflecting normal locomotion. Thus, this scale represents a refinement of the 5-point Tarlov scale and has been shown to produce very reliable outcome.
With regard to the fact that this scale is based on the function of the spinal pattern generator, this test shows also a very close correlation to tests involving supraspinal control such as grid walking or crossing a narrow beam.

Recently, some studies on spinalised cats showed motor recovery due to treadmill training. However, for my knowledge in cats a parallel test such as the BBB scale does not exist. The BBB score is very sensitive for detecting fine motor deficits and assesses the degree of recovery after a spinal cord lesion. The chronic outcome of motor performance depends on the severity of injury, and in our study most animals, receiving a light to moderate contusion injury, did not regain their former motor ability.

I hope you are also enjoying this meeting. With best regards,

Gerlinde Metz

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