The effects of acute alcohol on motor impairments in adolescent, adult, and aged rats.


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Acute alcohol exposure has been shown to produce differential motor impairments between younger and older rodents. However, the effects of acute alcohol exposure among adolescent, adult, and aged rats have yet to be systematically investigated within the same project using a dose-dependent analysis. We sought to determine the age- and dose-dependent effects of acute alcohol exposure on gross and coordinated motor performance across the rodent lifespan. In addition, an ethanol clearance curve was generated to examine blood ethanol concentrations (BEC) across age groups following a high dose of ethanol. Aged animals performed worse on gross and coordinated motor tasks compared to younger animals. Older rodents were more sensitive to the sedative/hypnotic effects of acute ethanol compared to younger rodents. With the inclusion of three different developmental age groups, the current study provides a comprehensive view of age-dependent alcohol-induced motor impairments during the rodent lifespan.



Alcohol. Aerial righting reflex. Rotarod. Aging. Loss of righting reflex.