Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis of d-amphetamine in an attention task in rodents

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Amphetamine is a common therapeutic agent for alleviating the core symptoms associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. The current study used a translational model of attention, the five-choice serial reaction time (5-CSRT) procedure with rats, to examine the time-course effects of d-amphetamine. Effects of different dosages of d-amphetamine were related to drug–plasma concentrations, fashioned after comprehensive pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic assessments that have been employed in clinical investigations. We sought to determine whether acute drug–plasma concentrations that enhance performance in the 5-CSRT procedure are similar to those found to be therapeutic in patients diagnosed with ADHD. Results from the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic assessment indicate that d-amphetamine plasma concentrations associated with improved performance on the 5-CSRT procedure overlap with those that have been reported to be therapeutic in clinical trials. The current findings suggest that the 5-CSRT procedure may be a useful preclinical model for predicting the utility of novel ADHD therapeutics and their effective concentrations.

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