Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk for concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). At the same time, recommendations for the management of ADHD include participation in sports and other organized physical activities, including those that carry an increased risk of mTBI. Very little work has been done to determine the extent to which untreated ADHD adversely impacts behavioral outcomes of repeated mild concussions. Here, we used a perinatal nicotine exposure (PNE) mouse model of ADHD combined with a closed-head, repetitive mTBI model. The PNE mouse model carries significant construct, face, and predictive validity as a preclinical model of ADHD. Two-month-old PNE and control mice were subjected to closed-head repetitive mTBI or sham procedure once daily for 5 days. Object-based attention, novel object recognition memory, spatial working memory, and depression-like behavior were analyzed 1 day and 2 weeks following repeated mTBI. Consistent with our previous reports, mice in the PNE group showed significant deficits in object-based attention and working memory prior to mTBI. These deficits persisted following the repeated mTBI. Repeated mTBI produced a transient attention deficit in the control group but did not exacerbate the attention deficit that is characteristic of the PNE group. Although neither PNE nor repetitive mTBI alone influenced immobility in the tail suspension test, when PNE mice were subjected to mTBI, there was a transient increase in this measurement suggesting a synergistic effect of ADHD and mTBI on depression-like behavior. Thus, our data using the PNE mouse model suggest that ADHD may be a risk factor for transient depression following repeated mTBI and that repeated mTBI may be a risk factor for transient attention deficit.
© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.