Gait analysis is a systematic collection of quantitative information on bodily movements during locomotion. Gait analysis has been employed clinically in stroke patients for their rehabilitation planning. In animal studies, gait analysis has been employed for the assessment of their locomotive disturbances in ischemic stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease. The aims of the work reported here were to identify the gait parameters, collected from the computer-generated CatWalk System, that change after unilateral intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in the acute stage and long term up to 56 days post-ICH. The results showed that with the collagenase-induced unilateral striatal lesion, the rats displayed a significant contralateral decrease in print and maximum contact area and paw intensity, a diagonal increase in the stance duration of the left front and right hind paws, a significant decrease in the stride length of all four limbs, and foot pattern instability as reflected by the base of support, support on styles, and cadence. These deficits, including those in print area, stance and pressure, were demonstrated throughout the long-term period following ICH. The correlations between the gait parameters, lesion volume and asymmetrical forelimb use were also reported in this paper. This work has provided a systematic description on gait parameters in the classical striatal ICH model, which might become an essential assessment tool in future studies of pathophysiology and the development of novel treatments for experimental unilateral intracerebral hemorrhage with gait deficits.
Keywords: Gait analysis; Hematoma volume; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Long term investigation; Unilateral striatal impairment.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.