Title

The Role of Task-Specificity in Functional Outcome Following Ischemic Stroke in Mice

Graduation Year

2018

Comments

At the request of the author, this paper is not available for download. Bona fide researchers may consult it by visiting the University Archives in Tate Archives & Special Collections; contact archives@iwu.edu for details.

Abstract

Rodent studies have revealed that skilled-reach training can improve motor function following ischemic stroke. Currently there are three skilled-reach training tasks available. The established tasks in the field include the Single-Pellet Reaching Task (SPRT) and the Pasta-Matrix Reaching Task (PMRT). There is also a newly developed, and not yet validated, task known as the Novel Reaching Task (NRT). The present practice is to choose one of these tasks a train mice on the same task pre-stroke and post-stroke, which is a task-specific stroke behavioral intervention. One hypothesis is that mice exposed to differing tasks pre-stroke and post-stroke (a non-task specific intervention) will exhibit greater reach performance post-stroke. We believe that a non-task specific intervention best promotes functional outcome post-stroke because new learning is involved, which we predict will promote greater changes in the brain and, in consequence, improve behavioral recovery more than task-specific interventions (which involve re-learning). A supplementary hypothesis is that the NRT will promote the greatest functional outcome post-stroke because this task aims to solve the serious shortcomings of the other established tasks (SPRT and PMRT). We found no significant effects for pre-stroke and post-stroke performance between treatment groups. However, the behavioral patterns observed post-stroke suggest that non-specific intervention (specifically SPRT pre-stroke and PMRT post-stroke) results in the best reach performance post stroke. Mice trained on NRT post-stroke exhibited the worst reaching performance, suggesting that this task may be an ineffective skilled reach task to use post-operatively. However, more research must be conducted to further examine whether task-specific or non-task specific interventions best promote functional outcome.

Disciplines

Psychology

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