Parkinson’s Disease Scores

Non- pharmacological

Stepping –This test aims to evaluate Parkinson’s disease-like impairment in movement and coordination and the presence of rigidity. For each limb, the time of initiation of stepping, the step length and the time required for the animal to cover a set distance along a ramp by each limb are measured. In the second stage of the test, the number of adjusting steps by each limb when the animal is moved sideways along a ramp (or a bench) is measured. These two sets are repeated for three consecutive days.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

References:

Ben-Hur T, Idelson M, Khaner H, Pera M, Reinhartz E, Itzik A, Reubinoff BE (2004) Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitors improves behavioral deficit in parkinsonian rats. Stem Cells 22(7):1246-1255

Olsson M, Nikkhah G, Bentlage C, Bjorklund A (1995) Forelimb akinesia in the rat parkinson model: Differential effects of dopamine agonists and nigral transplants as assessed by a new stepping test. J Neurosci 15(5 Pt 2):3863-3875


Placing – This test aims to evaluate Parkinson’s disease-like impairment in movement and coordination, and the presence of rigidity. The animal is held so that its limbs are unsupported. It is then raised to the side of a shelf so that its whiskers make contact with the shelf top surface and the length of its body is parallel to the shelf edge. This test assesses the ability of the animal to make directed limb movements in response to sensory stimuli.Ten trials are executed for each forelimb each day. The test is conducted for 10 consecutive days.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Ben-Hur T, Idelson M, Khaner H, Pera M, Reinhartz E, Itzik A, Reubinoff BE (2004) Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitors improves behavioral deficit in parkinsonian rats. Stem Cells 22(7):1246-1255

Lindner MD, Plone MA, Francis JM, Blaney TJ, Salamone JD, Emerich DF (1997) Rats with partial striatal dopamine depletions exhibit robust and long-lasting behavioral deficits in a simple fixed-ratio bar-pressing task. Behav Brain Res 86(1):25-40


Wire grasping test – This test evaluates the presence of parkinsonian like features such as rigidity and difficulty in movement . The test is performed by placing the animal on a wire net and then turning the net upside down at a height of 20 cm above the cage floor to prevent the animal from easily climbing down. The time elapsed until the animal falls is recorded three times and the cutoff time was set at 60 seconds.

[This test is applicable mice only]

Reference:

Shinzawa K, Sumi H, Ikawa M, Matsuoka Y, Okabe M, Sakoda S, Tsujimoto Y (2008) Neuroaxonal dystrophy caused by group via phospholipase a2 deficiency in mice: A model of human neurodegenerative disease. J Neurosci 28(9):2212-2220


Pole test – This test evaluates the presence of parkinsonian like symptoms such as rigidity and difficulty in movement The animal is placed head up on the top of a vertical pole, 50 cm long (1 cm in diameter). The time required to orient downward and the time to descend the entire length of the pole to its base are tracked with a cut-off of 2 minutes. The test consists of 5 trials (20 minutes interval between each) and trial averages are calculated.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice].

Reference:

Fleming SM, Salcedo J, Fernagut PO, Rockenstein E, Masliah E, Levine MS, Chesselet MF (2004) Early and progressive sensorimotor anomalies in mice overexpressing wild-type human alpha-synuclein. J Neurosci 24(42):9434-9440


Parkinson’s disease scores -  Pharmacological

Rotational asymmetry – This test aims to evaluate the damage caused by unilateral streotactic  injection of a dopaminergic neuron toxin. Under anesthesia, the dopaminergic cell specific toxin 6-OHDA is stereotactically  injected into the right substantia nigra pars compacta (SnC), with respective coordinates for rats or mice. Two week after the surgery, the animal is introduced into an open field arena for a given period of time. A direct relationship is expected between the extent of damage to dopaminergic neurons in the SnC and the rate of rotations performed by the animal (measured as number of rotations per minute).

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Pelled G, Bergman H, Ben-Hur T, Goelman (2007). Manganese-enhanced MRI in a rat model of parkinson’s disease. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 26:863-870.