Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects millions of people worldwide; however, the immediate impact of TBI and the secondary injury mechanisms are still not fully understood. TBI can cause devastating neuromotor deficits in both acute and chronic stages. Time course studies utilizing animal models of focal TBI have provided essential insight into TBI neuropathology. Here, we describe a surgical technique for creating a mouse model of focal, mild TBI (Dixon et al., 1991; Smith et al., 1995; Bolkvadze and Pitkanen, 2012). Furthermore, we provide protocols for validating TBI models using behavioral tests that examine post-traumatic neuromotor deficits resulting from TBI neuropathology (Fujimoto et al., 2004; Febinger et al., 2015; Smith et al., 1995; Bolkvadze and Pitkanen, 2012).
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