Physiological and behavioral effects of d-threo-methylphenidate hydrochloride in male Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rats

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Millions of children and adults worldwide are diagnosed with Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and yet its very existence, definition, and treatment are surrounded with discord and controversy. ADHD and its treatments are brought together through this investigation into the effects that drug therapy has on Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) and a strain of Spontaneously Hypertensive rats (SHR) selectively inbred from WKY rats. The effects of the drug d-threo- methylphenidate hydrochloride (d-MPH - the d-isomer of the ADHD drug Ritalin©) on spatial working memory abilities, overall growth rate, blood glucose levels, blood pH, and erythrocyte membrane lipids were examined in the two rat strains. Although all four physiological properties remained constant and normal over the course of the experiment, the spatial working memory abilities were inhibited in WKY rats receiving the drug. These results suggest that the d-isomer of this drug may have a significant impact on cognitive function in rats and possibly humans.