Even though the exact etiological mechanisms are not yet known, there is almost universal agreement that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a biologically-based disorder, involving impaired self- regulation and producing cognitive, motor, social and behavioral consequences. Evidence-based treatments for ADHD focus on reducing symptoms and impairments of the disorder either through pharmacological means, the use of behavioral therapy, or both. Effects from these treatments are difficult to maintain over time (Jensen et al., 2007), and behavioral treatments are viewed as burdensome to implement by some parents and teachers. Furthermore, despite its established efficacy, pharmacological intervention is controversial in society and is viewed as unacceptable to some families. Thus, the need for additional interventions, particularly those with the potential to offer new options to families and to address ADHD symptoms at the level of brain processes, remains pressing. Towards this end, we pursue an exciting new frontier in ADHD research involving the application of an aerobic physical activity intervention for addressing the disorder, as well as its associated impairments. We approach this goal from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining expertise in neuroscience, kinesiology and both biobehavioral and clinical psychology. Importantly, our preliminary work that is based both on a rodent model of ADHD and on human work with children suggests that aerobic physical activity reduces symptoms characteristic of ADHD. Therefore, we adopt a translational strategy, including both human and animal studies, to address five specific aims: First, we examine the effect of aerobic physical activity on hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention as well as cognitive, motor, behavioral, and social functioning in young children (ages 5-8 yrs.) and young rats (approximately 40 days old) selected for the presence of ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms, respectively. Second, we examine the minimal length of physical activity intervention required to produce an effect. Third, we examine the persistence of these effects. Fourth, through animal work, we examine the most likely neural plasticity mechanisms that may underlie the effects of physical activity on hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention through analysis of hippocampal neurogenesis and brain derived neurotrophic factor levels.
There is almost universal agreement that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a biologically- based disorder, involving impaired self-regulation and producing cognitive, motor, behavioral, and social consequences. We pursue an exciting new frontier in ADHD research, applying an aerobic physical activity intervention to address the disorder, as well as its associated impairments. We approach this goal from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining expertise in neuroscience, kinesiology, and both biobehavioral and clinical psychology.
|Eddy, Meghan C; Todd, Travis P; Bouton, Mark E et al. (2016) Medial prefrontal cortex involvement in the expression of extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental behavior for a food reinforcer. Neurobiol Learn Mem 128:33-9|
|Brassell, Anne A; Shoulberg, Erin K; Pontifex, Matthew B et al. (2015) Aerobic Fitness and Inhibition in Young Children: Moderating Roles of ADHD Status and Age. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol :1-7|
|Hoza, Betsy; Smith, Alan L; Shoulberg, Erin K et al. (2015) A randomized trial examining the effects of aerobic physical activity on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in young children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 43:655-67|
|Robinson, Andrea M; Buttolph, Thomas; Green, John T et al. (2015) Physical exercise affects attentional orienting behavior through noradrenergic mechanisms. Behav Neurosci 129:361-7|
|Gauthier, Angela C; DeAngeli, Nicole E; Bucci, David J (2015) Cross-fostering differentially affects ADHD-related behaviors in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Dev Psychobiol 57:226-36|
|Robinson, Andrea M; Bucci, David J (2014) Individual and combined effects of physical exercise and methylphenidate on orienting behavior and social interaction in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Behav Neurosci 128:703-12|
|Robinson, A M; Bucci, D J (2014) Physical exercise during pregnancy improves object recognition memory in adult offspring. Neuroscience 256:53-60|
|Thanellou, Alexandra; Green, John T (2013) Cerebellar structure and function in male Wistar-Kyoto hyperactive rats. Behav Neurosci 127:311-24|
|Eddy, Meghan C; Rifken, Katharine M; Toufexis, Donna J et al. (2013) Gonadal hormones and voluntary exercise interact to improve discrimination ability in a set-shift task. Behav Neurosci 127:744-54|
|Hopkins, M E; Davis, F C; Vantieghem, M R et al. (2012) Differential effects of acute and regular physical exercise on cognition and affect. Neuroscience 215:59-68|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 19 publications