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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1035473, 9 pages
Research Article

Mechanism of Forelimb Motor Function Restoration after Cervical Spinal Cord Hemisection in Rats: A Comparison of Juveniles and Adults

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyorin University, 6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0004, Japan
2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kugayama Hospital, 2-14-20 Kitakarasuyama, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0061, Japan

Received 23 November 2015; Revised 2 January 2016; Accepted 12 January 2016

Academic Editor: Di Lazzaro Vincenzo

Copyright © 2016 Atsushi Hasegawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to investigate forelimb motor function after cervical spinal cord injury in juvenile and adult rats. Both rats received a left segmental hemisection of the spinal cord after C3-C4 laminectomy. Behavioral evaluation of motor function was monitored and assessed using the New Rating Scale (NRS) and Forelimb Locomotor Scale (FLS) and by measuring the range of motion (ROM) of both the elbow and wrist. Complete left forelimb motor paralysis was observed in both rats. The NRS showed motor function recovery restored to in juvenile rats and in adult rats. FLS was in juvenile rats and in adult rats. ROM of the elbow and wrist were and in juvenile rats and and in adult rats. Thus, the NRS and ROM of the elbow showed a significant difference between age groups. These results indicate that left hemisection of the cervical spinal cord was not related to right-sided motor functions. Moreover, while motor paralysis of the left forelimb gradually recovered in both groups, the improvement was greater in juvenile rats.