Cognitive deficits are among the most severe and pervasive consequences of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). A critical step in developing therapies targeting such outcomes is the characterization of experimentally-tractable pre-clinical models that exhibit multi-domain neurobehavioral deficits similar to those afflicting humans. We therefore searched for neurobehavioral abnormalities following endovascular perforation induction of SAH in mice, a heavily-utilized model. We instituted a functional screen to manage variability in injury severity, then assessed acute functional deficits, as well as activity, anxiety-related behavior, learning and memory, socialization, and depressive-like behavior at sub-acute and chronic time points (up to 1 month post-injury). Animals in which SAH was induced exhibited reduced acute functional capacity and reduced general activity to 1 month post-injury. Tests of anxiety-related behavior including central area time in the elevated plus maze and thigmotaxis in the open field test revealed increased anxiety-like behavior at subacute and chronic time-points, respectively. Effect sizes for subacute and chronic neurobehavioral endpoints in other domains, however, were small. In combination with persistent variability, this led to non-significant effects of injury on all remaining neurobehavioral outcomes. These results suggest that, with the exception of anxiety-related behavior, alternate mouse models are required to effectively analyze cognitive outcomes after SAH.
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