ADHD Drug Vyvanse Improves Cognitive Decline in Menopausal Women

Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) was shown to improve memory and concentration in menopausal women.
Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) was shown to improve memory and concentration in menopausal women.

HealthDay News — Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), a stimulant usually prescribed to children and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may help to improve menopausal women's executive function, a new, small study suggests. The findings were published online in Psychopharmacology.

The study authors randomly assigned 32 women 40 to 60 mg of lisdexamfetamine (LDX) or a placebo daily for four weeks. All were between ages 45 and 60, were either going through or just finishing menopause, and had complained of difficulties with executive function.

None had a history of ADHD, but all scored high enough on an assessment of symptoms to show they were experiencing executive function difficulties at the time of the study. The patients also underwent several tests related to memory and attention. After four weeks, the women had a two-week break before the groups switched.

The researchers found that the women had better scores on their symptoms assessments while taking the medication. They also scored better on one of the three memory and concentration tests while taking LDX. While the women in the study were taking the medication, their blood pressure and heart rate increased but stayed in the normal range overall. The study authors did not report other major side effects.

"LDX 40 to 60 mg/day was well tolerated and improved the subjective measures of executive function as well as objective measures of delayed verbal recall in this sample of healthy menopausal women," the authors conclude.

The study was funded by Shire, the drug's maker, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Reference

Epperson CN. New onset executive function difficulties at menopause: a possible role for lisdexamfetamine. Psychopharmacology. 2015; doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-3953-7.

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