UNIT 9.35 Overview of Animal Models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  1. Vivienne Ann Russell

Published Online: 1 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0935s54

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Russell, V. A. 2011. Overview of Animal Models of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 54:9.35:9.35.1–9.35.25.

Author Information

  1. Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, South Africa

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2011
  2. Published Print: JAN 2011


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a heterogeneous, highly heritable, behavioral disorder that affects ∼5% to 10% of children worldwide. Although animal models cannot truly reflect human psychiatric disorders, they can provide insight into the disorder that cannot be obtained from human studies because of the limitations of available techniques. Genetic models include the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), the Naples High Excitability (NHE) rat, poor performers in the 5-choice serial reaction time (5-CSRT) task, the dopamine transporter (DAT) knock-out mouse, the SNAP-25 deficient mutant coloboma mouse, mice expressing a human mutant thyroid hormone receptor, a nicotinic receptor knock-out mouse, and a tachykinin-1 (NK1) receptor knock-out mouse. Chemically induced models of ADHD include prenatal or early postnatal exposure to ethanol, nicotine, polychlorinated biphenyls, or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Environmentally induced models have also been suggested; these include neonatal anoxia and rat pups reared in social isolation. The major insight provided by animal models was the consistency of findings regarding the involvement of dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and sometimes also serotonergic systems, as well as more fundamental defects in neurotransmission. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 54:9.35.1-9.35.25. © 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • attention;
  • deficit;
  • hyperactivity;
  • animal model;
  • SHR