New onset executive function difficulties at menopause: a possible role for lisdexamfetamine
Reports of cognitive decline, particularly in the domains of executive functions (EFs), are common among menopausal women.
This study aims to determine the impact of the psychostimulant lisdexamfetamine (LDX) on subjective and objective cognitive function among menopausal women who report new-onset EF complaints.
Thirty-two healthy perimenopausal and early postmenopausal women experiencing mid-life-onset executive function difficulties as measured using the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) were administered LDX 40–60 mg/day for 4 weeks in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Diagnosis of lifetime ADHD was exclusionary. BADDS total and subscale scores and performance on verbal memory and working memory tasks were outcomes of interest.
Analyses revealed a significant effect of LDX treatment over placebo for total BADDS scores (p = 0.0001) and for four out of the five BADDS subscales (all p < 0.004). LDX treatment also resulted in significant improvement in delayed paragraph recall (p = 0.018), but there was no significant effect of treatment on other cognitive measures. Systolic blood pressure (p = 0.017) and heart rate increased significantly (p = 0.006) when women were on LDX but remained, on average, within the normal range.
LDX 40–60 mg/day was well tolerated and improved the subjective measures of executive function as well as objective measures of delayed verbal recall in this sample of healthy menopausal women.