A drug to arrest cognitive decline in menopausal women

Washington (IANS): A drug being used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also improves subjective and objective measures of cognitive decline commonly experienced in menopausal women, a new research has found.

The drug lisdexamfetamine (LDX) was found to be effective in dealing with difficulty with time management, attention, organisation, memory and problem solving — often referred to as executive functions, said the study that appeared online in the journal Psychopharmacology.

“Reports of cognitive decline, particularly in executive functions, are widespread among menopausal women,” said lead author C. Neill Epperson, professor of psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Pennsylvania.

The team administered a once-daily dose of LDX for four weeks to 32 healthy, non-ADHD-diagnosed women experiencing difficulties due to onset of menopause.

Then they were randomly assigned to cross-over to a placebo for an additional four weeks.

The team found a 41 percent overall improvement in executive functions for women receiving LDX, compared to a 17 percent improvement when taking placebo medication.

“Although we observed that short-term use of LDX was well-tolerated and effective in several subjective and objective areas, long-term studies of menopausal women receiving LDX are needed, similar to those conducted for ADHD patients,” Epperson added.

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