DigiGait for Spinal Cord Injury

The most devastating effect of spinal cord injury [SCI] is the loss of the ability to walk. Animal models of SCI are critical to the development of therapies to restore locomotive capacity. The DigiGait™ Imaging System is in use worldwide to better understand and develop therapies for numerous human conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and arthritis. Read More

Mice with Experimental Cerebral Malaria: the ECG in Conscious Mice and Potential Therapies

Human cerebral malaria (HCM), a complication of plasmodium falciparum infections, is the cause of over 1 million deaths worldwide each year, more deaths than any other parasitic disease.   It is important to understand how to best treat HCM. There are many reports of conduction system disturbances in humans with malaria. Little is known, however, about the electrocardiographic (ECG) features of mice with experimental malaria. Read More

The Smallest Exercise Addict You’ve Ever Seen

In a culture fixated on weight loss, diet, and exercise, we are all yearning for the next big finding that will give us more insight into becoming better athletes and living healthier lives. A recent study investigated a side of exercise that is often overlooked, but is nonetheless a growing health problem: exercise addiction. Read More

Straight from the Heart? Congenital neuromuscular disorders revealed by electrocardiographic recordings in newborn mice and hamster pups

Aberrant autonomic signaling is being increasingly recognized as an important symptom in neuromuscular disorders. The δ-sarcoglycan-deficient BIO TO-2 hamster is recognized as a good model for studying mechanistic pathways and sequelae in muscular dystrophy and heart failure, including autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction. Read More

Gait Analysis for Early Phenotyping of Mouse Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

The DigiGait Imaging System is the most widely published treadmill gait analysis system available for studies of animal models of neurodegeneration, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS]. Video 1 provides some indication of the power of the DigiGait instrumentation to describe gait disturbances, in this example reflected in the ability of the right hind limb of an SOD1 G93A mouse [~15 weeks old] to engage the treadmill belt (1). Read More

Beyond the Sciatic Functional Index

The sciatic functional index, or SFI, is a widely used metric by researchers who study the pathology and potential treatment of nerve injury.  The SFI is determined by comparing the geometric representation of the affected hind paw from an injured mouse or rat, and comparing it to the contralateral paw.  Several equations have been presented to the research community, each providing nearly the same values of ~ -10 for nearly normal function to ~-100 for dramatic injury.  Read More