FootFaultScan is the new name for our existing Parallel Rod apparatus and software system. It includes a Parallel Rod hardware device and associated software that measures up to 3 behaviors: foot faults which are measured by a touch sensor underneath the parallel rod floor, locomotor activity measured by video analysis from the top, and partial foot faults that are detected using led beam breaks. The system is available with chambers of different sizes for mice and rats.
The parallel rod floor test and apparatus have been designed as a measure for ataxia in mice and was created as a replacement for the rotarod test, because more active mice demonstrated a higher ability to make errors independent of their actual coordination. In an effort to control these errors and allow for the simultaneous measurement of locomotor activity the parallel rod test was developed. Since then, it has been demonstrated as an excellent assessment tool for analyzing mouse behaviors in reference to the vestibular system or parts of the proprioceptive system (Kamens & Crabbe, 2007). Researchers can index ataxia by combining the two measures (foot drops per cm traveled x 100) in an effort to control for individual differences in activity.
Research questions about gait, balance, proprioception, muscle strength, multiple sclerosis, stroke, hyperthermia, drug and alcohol intoxication can all be explored using the parallel rod test.