The parallel rod floor test: A measure of ataxia in mice

Helen M. Kamens, John C. Crabbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The parallel rod floor test is a new model of ataxia in mice. It allows the simultaneous measurement of ataxia and locomotor activity. This protocol is designed for researchers examining ethanol-induced motor incoordination in mice, but it should be applicable to other sedative/hypnotic drugs and to testing cerebellar mutant mice or mice with engineered genetic defects. This protocol takes 3 d, with the time per day depending on how many animals are tested. The test allows researchers to quantify differences in motor coordination among genotypes of mice that may differ in locomotor activity. Unlike many other methods for assessing incoordination, the parallel rod floor test yields similar patterns of genetic sensitivity across a range of variant forms of the apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-281
Number of pages5
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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