16-Jun-15 9:00 AM  CST

ADHD Drug May Improve Memory Functions in Menopausal Women

Menopause is a naturally occurring process that typically begins to takes place in women in their mid to late forties and fifties. A biological process, menopause can means the end of fertility in women, which of course, also means menses has ended. As over joyed as some women may be about this, menopause can also come with some distressing side effects. Hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, anxiety, and increased irritability may all be symptoms associated with menopause. In addition some brain functions such as, memory, multitasking, planning and problem solving, may suffer as a result of menopause.

A new study posted in the June 10th edition of Psychopharmacology and funded by Shire pharmaceuticals and the National Institutes for Health, provides some proof that the ADHD drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) may help improve memory and other cognitive function decline often associated with menopause. 32 women, between the ages of 45 and 60 who were known to be either going through or ending menopause, were randomly given Vyvanse or a placebo once daily for four weeks. None of the women in the study had any history of ADHD, but all women in the study had experienced some decline in memory or other executive brain function.

The authors of the study then gave the women a two-week break before beginning the second half of the study. In the second half of the study, the women who had been given the placebo where given Vyvanse and the women who had been given Vyvanse were given a placebo. The study was then conducted just as it had been over the prior four weeks. The results showed that when the women had been given Vyvanse they experienced an increase in executive brain function and memory. Overall when the women took Vyvanse they assesses their symptoms to be significantly improved as well as scored better on at one of three cognitive tests conducted during the study.

While the research does open a window to better understanding and improving the executive function decline associated with menopause, many gynecologist and women’s health professions believe these results must be evaluated with caution. Dr. Kevin Ault an OB/GYN and professor at the University of Kanas warns, “One of the problems with having a small study like this is that you’re not going to see the picture with side effects,” Still some health professionals remain optimistic. Dr. Sheryl Ross, an OB/GYN practicing at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, states, “Even though this is a small study, it shows that other medications can be safe and effective in treating annoying cognitive side effects of menopause”.


Haelle, T., (2015), “Could ADHD Find New Role in Menopause, “WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/menopause/news/20150612/could-adhd-drug-find-new-role-in-menopause, retrieved, 15 June 2015


For additional information on this article, please contact:
Sandra Andrews
(717) 360-1159
Source: Sandy Andrews  

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