ADHD and sleep deprivation are conditions faced by many students. The conditions exhibit similar symptoms and neurological patterns. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between an altered light/dark cycle (AL/DC) (16 hours dark/8 hours light) and learning and memory performance in an animal model for ADHD, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR). The study also examined the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) in altered light/dark cycle (AL/DC) rats. Rats participated in Morris Water Maze (MWM) and Novel Object Recognition (NOR) testing. The results for the 64 rats showed a significant difference between groups in latency to find the platform across days ( p <0.0001) and between days in latency to find the platform across groups ( p <0.0001) on the MWM. There was no significant difference in time spent in the platform quadrant during the probe trial of the MWM ( p =n.s.). On the NOR task, SHR rats spent significantly less time exploring the novel object than did the SD rats ( p =0.0051). A oneway ANOVA of cFOS expression in the the CA1 region of the hippocampus revealed a significant main effect ( p =0.0183). A oneway ANOVA of cFOS expression in the CA2 area of the hippocampus revealed a significant main effect ( p <0.0001). A oneway ANOVA of cFOS expression the the CA3 area of the hippocampus revealed a significant main effect ( p <0.0001). For all three of these main effects, cfos expression in the hippocampus of SHR rats was significant lower than that in SD rats. The results of this study have implications for school day start times, the effects of lack of sleep on children with ADHD compared to children without, and the role of the hippocampal CA2 region on object recognition memory.
Jackvony, Stephanie E., "The Effects of an Altered Light/Dark Cycle and Methylphenidate on Learning and Memory Performance in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat Model of ADHD" (2018). Psychology Honors Papers. 74.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.