Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Wetzel


Kernicterus causes damage to the auditory system and the basal ganglia in humans. Although the Gunn rat model of kernicterus has been extensively used to characterize the auditory features, this model has not been utilized to systematically investigate the movement disorder. In the present study, spontaneously jaundiced (jj) 16 day old Gunn rat pups were treated with sulfadimethoxine to exacerbate bilirubin neurotoxicity and compared to saline treated jjs and non-jaundiced (Nj) littermates. Electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded from antagonistic hip muscles in dystonic and in normal appearing rats. Raw EMG signals were decomposed using the Discrete Wavelet Transform based multi-resolution analysis, and signal coefficients corresponding to the dominant EMG frequency band were chosen. Gunn rats exposed to sulfadimethoxine developed a stable clinical state characterized by prolonged abnormal axial and appendicular postures. Coherence plots revealed 4-7 Hz co-activation in antagonistic muscles that was significantly more prominent in jj sulfa treated dystonic compared to normal rats. The EMG findings support the presence of dystonia in sulfadimethoxine exposed jj Gunn rats.


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Is Part Of

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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008