In basic research on spinal cord injury (SCI), behavioral evaluation of the SCI animal model is critical. However, it is difficult to accurately evaluate function in the mouse SCI model due to the small size of mice. Although the open-field scoring scale is an outstanding appraisal method, supplementary objective tests are required. Using a compact SCANET system, in which a mouse carries out free movement for 5 min, we developed a novel method to detect locomotor ability. A SCANET system samples the horizontal coordinates of a mouse every 0.1 s, and both the speed and acceleration of its motion are calculated at each moment. It was found that the maximum speed and acceleration of motion over 5 min varied by injury severity. Moreover, these values were significantly correlated with open-field scores. The maximum speed and acceleration of SCI model mice using a SCANET system are objective, easy to obtain, and reproducible for evaluating locomotive function.
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