Rehabilitation strategy using enhanced housing environment during neural regeneration

Meek, M., Koning, M. A. J., Nicolai, J. & Gramsbergen, A., 30-Jul-2004, In : Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 136, 2, p. 179-185 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Marcel Meek
  • M.A.J. Koning
  • Jean Nicolai
  • A Gramsbergen

The influence of an enriched environment on the recovery of nerve function was studied after a sciatic nerve lesion and repair. A sciatic nerve gap of 15 mm was bridged in 12 rats using autologous nerve grafts. The rats were housed either in an enriched environment or in standard cages. In the enhanced housing environment, the rats were forced to move by dissociating food and water sources, including wire for foot gripping instead of flat plastic floors, and wooden play toys. Locomotor behavior was recorded on tape with a digital videorecorder and behavioral data were compared with those of a group of six unoperated rats. The video-recordings were analyzed for the stance factor (SF) as well as several other aspects of the rat's walking pattern. Walking was evaluated between 10 and 21 weeks after the operation. Differences in walking behavior between rats raised in an enriched environment and rats raised in standard cages could not be demonstrated. Differences in walking behavior between male and female rats were not found either. But data differed significantly at all ages with rats of the control group. Automutilation of parts of the denervated foot revealed a significant difference in both experimental groups, occurring less often in the enriched environment group. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30-Jul-2004


  • enriched environment, sciatic nerve transection, video analysis, stance factor, rat, FUNCTIONAL NERVE RECOVERY, RAT SCIATIC-NERVE, ADULT RATS, TRANSECTION, GAP, RECONSTRUCTION, REINNERVATION, ENRICHMENT, MUSCLES, INJURY

ID: 4236766