The neurological screen provides an overview on basic neurological functions of mutant mouse lines. The primary screening includes a general examination according to a modified SHIRPA protocol, measuring grip strength and evaluation of motor coordination with an accelerating rotarod. Dependent on primary results and/or additional information about the mouse model more in-dept-analysis can be performed. We also combine out readout methods with an application of neuroprotective substances or after induction of oxidative stress.

Neurological Examination - Primary screen

Maus im Becherglas
  • SHIRPA: (Hatcher et al, 2001). This primary observation screen is proposed as a rapid and semi-quantitative screening method for analysis of abnormal phenotypes in mice by an overall assessment of muscle, motor neuron, spino-cerebellar, sensory and autonomic functions.
  • Grip Strength: Grip force is measured to evaluate muscle function of fore paws or all paws.
  • Rotarod: The performance of mutant mice on the Rotarod provides information about motor coordination and balance as well as basic motor learning skills dependant upon the protocol used.
  • Auditory Brainstem response (ABR): The ABR is an electrophysiological recording widely used for determination of hearing sensitivity, e.g. estimation of hearing thresholds for broadband click stimuli and pure tone frequencies.


Secondary Screen (at least 10 animals per sex and genotype needed)

  • Assessment of ataxia, motor coordination and balance:
    • Gait analysis
    • Swim ability
    • Beam walking/ ladder beam
    • Skilled reaching (staircase)
    • Motor skill drums in running wheels; TSE)
    • Electrophysiology: electroneurography (nerve conduction velocities)
  • Assessment of muscle function:
    • Electromyography
    • Nerve conduction studies
    • Running wheel exercise
  • Assessment of hearing:
    • Auditory evoked potentials
    • Auditory Brainstem Response
  • Assessment of seizure treshold:
    • Pentetrazol-induced seizures
    • Telemetric electroencephalography
  • Additional approaches
    • Challenge with paraquat to induce oxidative stress
    • Application of neuroprotective substances
    • Exercise with running wheels


Dr. rer. nat. Lore Becker    
phone: +49 (089) 3187-2881
fax:      +49 (089) 3187-3500

Expert Partner

Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Klopstock    
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München