In 38 men and women with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, tests of a medication known to increase brain activity showed early efficacy in decreasing symptoms of slow cognitive pace (ADHD.)
Medicine Reduces Constant Daydreaming, Tiredness In People With ADHD
A set of symptoms that includes persistent daydreaming, tiredness, poor working speed, and sluggish cognitive tempo has been the topic of controversy
The stimulant lisdexamfetamine is also known as Vyvanse, decreased self-reported symptoms of slow cognitive tempo by 30%, according to researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. It also reduced ADHD symptoms by more than 40% and dramatically repaired impairments in executive brain function, with fewer instances of procrastination, improvements in remembering things, and stronger prioritizing abilities.
The study, which was published online on June 29 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, also revealed that one-quarter of the overall improvements in slow cognitive tempo, such as sensations of boredom, difficulty remaining awake, and indicators of bewilderment, were related to improvements in ADHD symptoms.
The researchers interpreted this result to imply that reductions in ADHD-related episodes of physical restlessness, impulsive behavior, and/or times of inattention were associated with some, but not all, of the improvements in sluggish cognitive pace.
According to the main research investigator and psychiatrist Lenard Adler, MD, the study provides more evidence that slow cognitive tempo is separate from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and that the stimulant lisdexamfetamine cures both disorders in adults and when they occur simultaneously.
Until recently, stimulants have only been found to help slow cognitive tempo symptoms in children with ADHD, according to Adler, who leads the adult ADHD program at NYU Langone Health. The findings of the NYU Langone-Mount Sinai collaboration, he says, are the first to indicate that such therapies work in adults.
In the Departments of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone, Adler believes that slow cognitive tempo is a subgroup of symptoms found in certain individuals with ADHD and other mental illnesses. However, it is uncertain if the sluggish cognitive tempo is a separate mental disease in and of itself or whether stimulant medicines would help sluggish cognitive tempo in individuals who do not have ADHD.
Some professionals have attempted to classify slow cognitive pace as different, although detractors argue that additional study is required to answer the topic.
According to Adler, these findings emphasize the necessity of screening symptoms of slow cognitive tempo and executive brain function in individuals when they are first diagnosed with ADHD.
Several dozen volunteer volunteers were given daily doses of either lisdexamfetamine or a placebo sugar tablet for one month as part of the study, which was financed by the medication producer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Researchers then closely monitored their psychological health weekly, using standardized tests for indications and symptoms of slow cognitive tempo, ADHD, and other markers of brain function.
The trial participants then reversed roles: the half who had been taking the placebo began taking daily doses of lisdexamfetamine, while the other half who had been on the medication throughout the first phase of the research began taking the placebo.
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Enymotec, Shire Pharmaceuticals, now part of Takeda, Otsuka, and Lundbeck, have all given Adler grants or research assistance. In addition to Bracket, SUNY, the National Football League, and Major League Baseball, he has worked as a paid consultant for these organizations. Since 2004, he has also received royalties from NYU for adult ADHD diagnosis and training resources. All of these partnerships are maintained in line with NYU Langone’s rules and procedures.