Brown Institute for Brain Science

Hargreaves Method Plantar Analgesia Test

Rationale of Test

To assess changes in the detection and processing of thermal sensory inputs. This test is often used in the assessment of novel pharmacological agents used to alleviate pain or in genetic or surgically induced models of pain sensitivity or pain disruption.

Apparatus

Hargreaves Analgesia Meter

Procedure

Pain sensitivity is assessed with a thermal plantar device. An infrared beam is applied to the base of the paw as it rests on a glass plate. When the mouse feels discomfort and withdraws its paw, the I.R. source switches off and the reaction time counter stops. The withdrawal latency is automatically determined.

Interpretation

Group differences in demonstration of a behavioral indicator of discomfort indicate a change in thermal sensitivity of that group of animals.

Relevant Controls

Can be tested along with hot plate test.

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