Table 3

List of items integrated in the MSR and RCR scores for preclinical (n=108) and proof-of-concept (n=461) animal studies on ALS reporting this information

Reported informationMSR score‘Proof-of-Concept’ (n=461)‘Preclinical’ (n=108)
Score itemScore weightAbsolute number%Absolute number%
Relevant animal research variables
 Group size sampsize 1.536879.810698.1
 Environment: light, temperature, humidity (fully or partially reported) climate 112326.74238.9
 Cage size cagesize 110.221.9
 Mice per cage nmice 1265.61513.9
 Sex of the animals sex 1.522348.47165.7
 Number of transgene copies copies 1.528662.08074.1
 Genetic background genetic 1.534975.79285.2
Measures to reduce ‘noise’ and bias in experiments
 Animals randomised to treatment groups random 1286.14743.5
 Observers blinded to treatment blinded 1.59420.45248.1
 Non-transgenic littermate controls used control 115032.53936.1
 Splitting littermates into groups sibsplit 1286.13128.7
 Reason for exclusion of animals is reported exclus 120.465.6
RCR score‘Proof-of-Concept’ (n=461)‘Preclinical’ (n=108)
Self-reported compliance with laws and regulations comply 19821.32825.9
Project approval reported protocol 131568.36661.1
Refinement measures (eg, to aid, feed and hydrate) refine 1296.31413
  • The score for each variable is provided (MSR score ranging from 0 to 12.5, and RCR score ranging from 0 to 3). Greater weight (1.5 vs 1) was attributed to items which are also part of the ALS guidelines. For purposes of statistical modelling, RCR (only including items comply, protocol and refine) was later simplified to a binary variable RCRb, coded as 1 for RCR values 2–3 and as 0 for RCR values 0–1.

  • ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; MSR, Methodological Standards Reporting; RCR, Regulatory Compliance Reporting.