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Irwin Test

The Irwin test is a general health check for rodents.

Using the Irwin test in mice, physical characteristics and conspicuities, sensorimotor reflexes and motor abilities are checked by an experienced observer.


Physical characteristics:

  • Body weight
  • Body temperature
  • Existence of whiskers
  • Constitution of the fur and eyes
  • Individual remarks (e.g. bites or other lesions)

Sensorimotor reflexes:

  • Whiskers-orienting reflex
  • Righting reflex
  • Ear twitch reflex
  • Eye blink reflex
  • Pupillary reflex

Motor abilities:

  • Vertical pole test
  • Wire suspension test

Using the Irwin test in rats, physical characteristics and sensorimotor reflexes as described for the mouse (see above) are measured.

Additionally rats are tested in the following tests:

  • Inclined layer test (tilted platform test, balance)
  • Grasping reflex (sensorimotor reflex)
  • Chimney test (spatial orientation)
  • Cliff hanging (muscle strength)

Body weight of 6 month old 5xFAD transgenic mice. Body weights separated by sex. n = 6 per group. Mean + SEM. t-test. **p<0.01; ***p<0.001.