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Oxytocin and ADHD
Transcript of Oxytocin and ADHD
Russell Morgan, Ph.D.
Marsha Dopheide, Ph.D.
Does Administration of Exogenous Oxytocin to Induce Labor Result in Attention-Related Cognitive Impairment in Exposed Offspring?
Oxytocin & ADHD
Produced in hypothalamus
Neuroendocrine role in social cognition
Significant role in labor
Role of Oxytocin in Labor
Potent uterine agonist
Chief induction & augmentation agent
9.5% (1990) 23.4% (2010)
Progression of use from
“Costs” of expediting labor
Institute for Safe Medication Practice high-alert medication
Risks of Oxytocin Administration
Compromises fetal oxygen status
Decreased blood flow to intervillous space
= less fetal oxygen available
OXY-increased contractions prevent oxygen restoration
Effects of Fetal Hypoxia
Adverse neurodevelopmental deficits
Complications to medial prefrontal cortex (PFC)
Modify dopamine circuitry in PFC
...What kind of consequences?
Kurth & Haussman
Relationship between Pitocin administration during labor and ADHD onset
Significant relationship between Pitocin administration and ADHD onset
Pitocin exposure was significant predictor of ADHD onset
67.1% developed ADHD
Goals of Present Study
No experimental basis exploring OXY and ADHD-like behavior
Investigate role of OXY exposure in the onset of behavioral deficits related to hyperactivity and impulsivity
Induce labor in maternal rats with OXY and test those offspring in 3 Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (3CSRTT)
3CSRTT Task 1-Simulataneous
Tests subjects’ ability to appropriately respond to port after LED cue
Has 15 s to make 1 s response
Correct response = pellet reward
10 s trial interval
1 session = 200 trials (or 120 minutes)
80% criterion performance
3CSRTT Task 2-Visual
Sustained attention task
Variable onset delay (0, 3, 6, 9 s)
LED duration (400, 700, or 1000 ms)
Balanced delay and duration
Increases difficulty of the task = requires perseverance to accurately respond
3CSRTT Task 3-Odor
Selective attention to irrelevant cue
5 days following VAT
Similar as previous tasks, except…
Delayed onset of relevant cue (2 or 3 secs)
Relevant cue duration (0.5 sec)
Odor presented in ~1/3 trials
Worse performance presumed
Nosepoke into non-illuminated port
Failure to enter alcove
Information processing speed
Rats exposed to OXY-induced uterine contractions during labor will demonstrate:
Decreased ability to
, as indicated by an increased number of omission errors in the delayed cue onset phases of the 3CSRTT
as indicated by increased comission (premature response) errors during the delayed cue onset phases of the 3CSRTT
, indicated by higher response latencies (information processing) in the delayed cue onset phases of the 3CSRTT
(impaired selective attention) when faced with irrelevant odor cues in the 3CSRTT
Does a relationship exist?
Assuming different performance between treatment groups…
OXY exposure has impacted performance
Inadequate fetal oxygen supply caused by oxytocin-induced uterine hyperstimulation?
Direct maternal-fetus placental transport?
Inadequate OXY dose during labor
Missing appropriately timed induction “window”
No link between ADHD and exogenous administration of OXY
40 Long Evans for 3CSRTT
Treatment received 5 IU/kg OXY
Injections on gestation day 22
Labor induced within
2 hours for OXY litters
10 OXY 10 control
10 OXY 10 control
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