The foot misplacement corridor test is used for assessing motor coordination and balance (gait control) in small laboratory animal (rats and mice).
The foot misplacement corridor test is made of a narrow corridor with clear Plexiglas side walls and opened extremities connecting the corridor to two plastic home cages, one for each side. The floor of the corridor consists of removable metal bars. The animal is placed at one extremity of the corridor and is required to walk on the bars as if walking on a horizontal ladder. The use of a ladder allows observing separately the front and hind foot placement in order to accurately count the total number of foot misplacements (misseps).
The bars can be removed to vary the distance/space between the bars and make the test more difficult for the animal. The changes in bar spacing also prevent animals from learning the location of the bars and so minimize the ability of the animals to compensate for impairments through learning. The width of the corridor can be adjusted to the size of the animal to prevent the animal from turning around.
The system can be combined with the use of a video tracking system for video recording and eventually assess a global evaluation of the animal trajectory, displacement and speed during the test.
This test is a qualitative test with a high sensitivity to determine even subtle loss of movement capacity.