Behavioural recovery is one of the primary goals of therapeutic intervention in animal models of disease. It is necessary, therefore, to have the means with which to quantify pertinent behavioural changes in experimental animals. Nevertheless, the number and diversity of behavioural measures which have been used to assess recovery after experimental interventions often makes it difficult to compare results between studies. The present review attempts to integrate and categorize the wide variety of behavioural assessments used to measure recovery in spinal-injured rats. These categories include endpoint measures, kinematic measures, kinetic measurements, and electrophysiological measurements. Within this categorization, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of measurement. Finally, we make some recommendations regarding the principles for a comprehensive behavioural analysis after experimental spinal cord injury in rats.
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