Menopause is hardly a walk in the park for most women. Hot flashes, emotional outbursts, and loss of memory are only some of the varying symptoms women experience at that point in their life. Some of the most detrimental losses to cognitive ability from menopause affect executive functioning (i.e., Attention, memory, problem solving, and organization). However, a new study shows that certain ADHD medicine, and lisdexamfetamine (LDX) in particular, can be used to treat this lapse of executive functioning. The effectiveness may be linked to the similarity between the symptoms of ADHD and those of menopause, especially in regard to executive functioning.
ADHD Medicine for Menopause?
ADHD involves a lack of focused attention and organization in much the same way that menopausal women may have disintegrating attention and increasing disorganization in their lives. The study, directed by the University of Pennsylvania, showed a 41% improvement in women who regularly took LDX. However, the lead scientist stresses the importance of clinicians to recognize whether a woman’s loss of memory is related to executive functioning rather than some other mental condition before prescribing this medication. This may lay the groundwork to test other ADHD medication’s effect on the symptoms of menopausal women.
While some symptoms are indeed similar between women going through menopause and people with ADHD, it is worth remembering that menopause is temporary while ADHD is a longer term cognitive disability which can be treated with therapy like that offered by the Sachs Center in NYC.
While medication like LDX can alleviate some of the problems that come with menopause, it is important to factor in other resources at your disposal. Therapy, planners and organizers, and exercise can all lessen the effects of menopause. Therapy in particular can be useful when dealing with upsurges of emotions and also with getting your life organized again.