Research Tips Unique to the Field of Dysferlinopathy

Research Tips is a new section on the Jain Foundation website with protocols, procedures, and advice specific or unique to dysferlin research, many in response to the questions we are often asked.

As you review our research tips, please be mindful that the field of dysferlinopathy is very young with many uncertainties and assumptions.  Therefore, we encourage all researchers to keep an open mind when approaching their dysferlin research and to consider the goal of their research when assessing whether these tips are applicable.

Continue reading below for tips on using the balance beam test for assessing dysferlin deficient mouse models in the lab.

Balance beam protocol for use in the assessment of dysferlin deficient mouse models

The balance beam test measures the ability of a mouse to traverse a narrow beam between two raised platforms.

The advantages of the balance beam are in the detection of subtle deficits in motor skills and balance that may not be detected by other motor tests, such as the treadmill or rotarod, as well as the emphasis on a narrow gait, which counters the compensation mice use for their hip weakness which is to adopt wider stance. Mice with dysferlinopathy have trouble traversing the balance beam and have measurably slower crossing times than wild type mice. Dysferlin deficient mice struggle to place their hind feet on the beam and may occasionally slip off the beam or drag their torso along the beam.

Please be mindful that the balance beam and other protocols on our web site are guidelines for consideration. We encourage you to develop the balance beam assay according to your specific experiments.

Click to view Balance Beam Guidelines

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