Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stimulant drug may help women cope with post-menopausal memory lapses

Date:
May 5, 2014
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
The psychostimulant drug lisdexamfetamine can aid post-menopausal women by improving attention and concentration, organization, working memory and recall, preliminary evidence from a recent study indicates. The study enrolled 30 women between the ages of 48 and 60 who had experienced a diminished ability to focus and multi-task in their early post-menopausal years. The cohort was made up of successful women -- none of whom were more than five years post-menopause.

Menopausal women have long reported experiencing hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and memory lapses, too.

A new study from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows preliminary evidence that the psychostimulant drug lisdexamfetamine (LDX) can aid post-menopausal women by improving attention and concentration, organization, working memory and recall. The findings will be presented by C. Neil Epperson, MD, director of the Penn Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness, on Tuesday during the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Dr. Epperson's study enrolled 30 women between the ages of 48 and 60 who had experienced a diminished ability to focus and multi-task in their early post-menopausal years. The cohort was made up of successful women -- none of whom were more than five years post-menopause.

"We believe estradiol, a form of estrogen, is very important in normal brain function, specifically in the pre-frontal cortex, which regulates executive function -- organization, recall, memory and other cognitive functions," Epperson says. "Its decline during the menopausal years, we believe, can play a role in the simultaneous decline in executive function that many women experience during the menopause transition. More specifically, estrogen plays a role in dopamine levels and the brain's normal dopaminergic tone. "We theorize that this process can result in symptoms similar to those experienced by people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder."

The double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study gave participants a four week regimen of LDX (which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of ADHD) as well as four weeks of placebo to assess the drug's effectiveness in reducing subjective, new-onset executive function difficulties, and improving performance on verbal recall, working memory and attention tasks.

A subset of women also underwent brain imaging, functional MRI and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to assess brain activation and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex neurochemistry.

The women were then asked to report their level of executive function across five domains: Organization and motivation for work; concentration and attention; alertness, effort and processing speed and managing affective interference, the tendency to overly focus on the emotion of a message; and working memory and recall.

Preliminary data show that all executive function domains, except managing affective interference, showed a significant reduction in severity of symptoms during active LDX treatment versus treatment with placebo. In one domain, organization and motivation for work, the severity of reported impairment predicted the degree of response to LDX treatment such that women with greater severity of symptoms in this domain found the greatest improvement with LDX treatment.

"While some individuals experienced no improvement with LDX, we were heartened by these findings and hope to examine the genetic profile of our participants in the near future to determine whether there are predictors regarding who is is most likely to experience improvement with this kind of treatment," says Epperson.

"We know that estradiol treatment is helpful in only a subset of the population of menopausal women with cognitive and mood complaints and for many women estradiol treatment is not an option due to their medical history. It is crucial that we identify treatment options for those women who experience significant changes in cognition during this transition, whether it occurs naturally or is induced by surgery or chemotherapies."

She suggests that additional research will be necessary to determine if pyschostimulants that work for very different, but related, conditions, might be an option for these menopausal women with executive function issues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Stimulant drug may help women cope with post-menopausal memory lapses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505094918.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2014, May 5). Stimulant drug may help women cope with post-menopausal memory lapses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505094918.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Stimulant drug may help women cope with post-menopausal memory lapses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505094918.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins