Neurological scoring and gait kinematics to assess functional outcome in an ovine model of ischaemic stroke

Journal article


Sorby-Adams, Annabel J., Marian, Oana C., Bilecki, Isabella M., Elms, Levi E., Camargo, Jonathan, Hall, Kelly, Crowther, Robert G., Leonard, Anna V., Wadsworth, George I., Spear, Joshua H., Turner, Renée J. and Jones, Claire F.. (2023). Neurological scoring and gait kinematics to assess functional outcome in an ovine model of ischaemic stroke. Frontiers in Neurology. 14, p. Article 107179. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2023.1071794
AuthorsSorby-Adams, Annabel J., Marian, Oana C., Bilecki, Isabella M., Elms, Levi E., Camargo, Jonathan, Hall, Kelly, Crowther, Robert G., Leonard, Anna V., Wadsworth, George I., Spear, Joshua H., Turner, Renée J. and Jones, Claire F.
Abstract

Background: Assessment of functional impairment following ischaemic stroke is essential to determine outcome and efficacy of intervention in both clinical patients and pre-clinical models. Although paradigms are well described for rodents, comparable methods for large animals, such as sheep, remain limited. This study aimed to develop methods to assess function in an ovine model of ischaemic stroke using composite neurological scoring and gait kinematics from motion capture.

Methods: Merino sheep (n = 26) were anaesthetised and subjected to 2 hours middle cerebral artery occlusion. Animals underwent functional assessment at baseline (8-, 5-, and 1-day pre-stroke), and 3 days post-stroke. Neurological scoring was carried out to determine changes in neurological status. Ten infrared cameras measured the trajectories of 42 retro-reflective markers for calculation of gait kinematics. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed at 3 days post-stroke to determine infarct volume. Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC's) were used to assess the repeatability of neurological scoring and gait kinematics across baseline trials. The average of all baselines was used to compare changes in neurological scoring and kinematics at 3 days post-stroke. A principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to determine the relationship between neurological score, gait kinematics, and infarct volume post-stroke.

Results: Neurological scoring was moderately repeatable across baseline trials (ICC > 0.50) and detected marked impairment post-stroke (p < 0.05). Baseline gait measures showed moderate to good repeatability for the majority of assessed variables (ICC > 0.50). Following stroke, kinematic measures indicative of stroke deficit were detected including an increase in stance and stride duration (p < 0.05). MRI demonstrated infarction involving the cortex and/or thalamus (median 2.7 cm3, IQR 1.4 to 11.9). PCA produced two components, although association between variables was inconclusive.

Conclusion: This study developed repeatable methods to assess function in sheep using composite scoring and gait kinematics, allowing for the evaluation of deficit 3 days post-stroke. Despite utility of each method independently, there was poor association observed between gait kinematics, composite scoring, and infarct volume on PCA. This suggests that each of these measures has discreet utility for the assessment of stroke deficit, and that multimodal approaches are necessary to comprehensively characterise functional impairment.

Keywordsstroke; functional outcome; sheep; motion capture; gait; neurological score
Year2023
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Journal citation14, p. Article 107179
PublisherFrontiers Media S.A.
ISSN1664-2295
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2023.1071794
PubMed ID36891474
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85149652348
PubMed Central IDPMC9986303
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range1-20
FunderNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Brain Foundation
Research Training Program Scholarship (RTP), Australian Government
Peter Couche Foundation
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online20 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Jan 2023
Deposited14 Sep 2023
Grant ID1082556
APP1072387
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