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The rotarod test is a simple pharmacological assessment of motor coordination, balance, muscle strength and gait, as well as sensory function.
In addition to a straightforward assessment of coordinated movement, data from rotarod performance experiments can also be beneficial for interpreting results from other behavioral models. Specifically, many drugs that have either sedative or stimulant properties could interfere with the assessment of behavioral tests that require a motoric response.
Consequently, having an “a priori” read on locomotor coordination effects of the novel compounds is prudent, if not necessary for planning, executing and explaining behavioral results gathered during standard pre-clinical efficacy profiling.
The Rotarod Test can be conducted in both mice and rats. Although performance measurements can be performed in a single day the procedure does involve training animals for at least two days prior to measurement. As a result the Rotarod Test is at least a 3-day procedure. Since it is non-invasive it can easily be incorporated at several time points in a chronic study.