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Behav Brain Funct. 2010 Sep 1;6:51. doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-6-51.

Deficits in fine motor skills in a genetic animal model of ADHD.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.



In an attempt to model some behavioral aspects of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), we examined whether an existing genetic animal model of ADHD is valid for investigating not only locomotor hyperactivity, but also more complex motor coordination problems displayed by the majority of children with ADHD.


We subjected young adolescent Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHRs), the most commonly used genetic animal model of ADHD, to a battery of tests for motor activity, gross motor coordination, and skilled reaching. Wistar (WIS) rats were used as controls.


Similar to children with ADHD, young adolescent SHRs displayed locomotor hyperactivity in a familiar, but not in a novel environment. They also had lower performance scores in a complex skilled reaching task when compared to WIS rats, especially in the most sensitive measure of skilled performance (i.e., single attempt success). In contrast, their gross motor performance on a Rota-Rod test was similar to that of WIS rats.


The results support the notion that the SHR strain is a useful animal model system to investigate potential molecular mechanisms underlying fine motor skill problems in children with ADHD.

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