Invited Symposium: What Can Genetic Models Tell Us About Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?



Materials & Methods


Discussion & Conclusion



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A Behavioral Validation of the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) as an Animal Model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

Contact Person: Terje Sagvolden (terje.sagvolden@basalmed.uio.no)

Materials and Methods

Validation criteria

In the literature on animal models of AD/HD, there has not been any systematic discussion on how to decide the validity of the model. Ideally, an animal model of a CNS disorder like AD/HD should be quite similar to the disorder in terms of etiology, biochemistry, symptomatology and treatment [30]. Thus, the most adequate model is the one that (a) best mimics, although in a simpler form than the full-blown clinical case, the fundamentals of the behavioral characteristics of AD/HD (face validity), (b) conforms with a theoretical rationale for AD/HD (construct validity), and (c) is able to predict aspects of AD/HD behavior, genetics and neurobiology previously uncharted in the clinics (predictive validity)(cf., [31; 32]).

Face validity - mimicking the fundamental aspects of the AD/HD symptomatology

In order to discuss Willner's validation criteria [33] as well as Taylor's [1] requirement of homology of symptoms, AD/HD symptoms will be compared with SHR behavioral deviations applying a task where AD/HD children, SHR and controls have been tested with homologous behavioral paradigms.

Both AD/HD and control children [34] as well as SHR and a large number of other strains [5; 12; 13; 19; 21] have been tested with the very same multiple fixed-interval/extinction schedule of reinforcement (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: The test procedure.

All experiments were run with the same computer programs, with same type of interface, but of course with different manipulanda and reinforcers. A schedule is termed multiple when two or more schedule components operate in alternation, each in the presence of a different stimulus. The fixed-interval component measures reactivity to reinforcers, activity and motor impulsiveness. The extinction component measures sensitivity to stimulus change and sustained attention.

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Sagvolden, T.; (1998). A Behavioral Validation of the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) as an Animal Model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/sadile/sagvolden0567/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright