A drug indicated for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder also helped women with executive functions related to menopause in research appearing in the journal Psychopharmacology.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study evaluated 32 healthy women without a confirmed ADHD diagnosis aged 45–60 who were experiencing difficulties with executive functions due to mid-life onset menopause. Participants were randomly assigned to lisdexamfetamine dimesylate 40–60mg per day for four weeks or placebo; difficulties in executive functions were measured using the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) via total and subscale scores and performance on verbal memory and working memory tasks.

Overall improvement in executive functions increased by 41% in women taking lisdexamfetamine dimesylate compared to 17% with placebo. Attention and concentration, alertness, effort, and processing speed, and working memory and accessing recall were all significantly improved for women in the treatment arm. A significant increase in systolic blood pressure and heart rate was observed with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate but generally remained within the normal range.

RELATED: Do Vitamin D, Calcium Supplements Reduce Menopausal Symptoms?

Larger long-term randomized controlled trials on the use of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate for cognitive difficulties related to menopause are needed to confirm these data. In the meantime, the authors suggest that clinicians should confirm that complaints of worsening memory in women are temporarily related to the transition to menopause and not due to other pathological cognitive impairment.

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is a CNS stimulant currently indicated for the treatment of ADHD in ages ≥6 and for the treatment of binge eating disorder in adults.

For more information visit UPenn.edu.