Transgenic rat models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have recently been developed. Most assays of ALS-symptoms in these models monitor disease onset accurately, but do not identify individuals that will develop these symptoms before the motor deficits become apparent. Peak bodyweight has recently been shown to indicate affected individuals before motor deficits become apparent. However, it must be determined retrospectively due to weight fluctuation. Here, we report that exploratory activities detected by a photobeam activity system (PAS) and wire mesh ascending test can be used to detect slight motor deficits in the early phase of ALS. Thus, these tests may be used in addition to peak bodyweight to monitor early disease progression and to assay efficacy of new therapeutic interventions.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Motor function
- Superoxide dismutase 1
- Transgenic rat
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