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  #1  
Old 06-08-13, 11:08 AM
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What meds work best for working memory?

So after watching Dr. Barkley's presentations, I am thoroughly Convinced without a doubt that I have ADHD. There are a few things that doesn't fit. I am not easily distracted, and I have full control over how I respond to my emotions.
My deficit by far is working memory more than focus. Hows has medication improved your working memory? Is there a medication that works best for this? Without some improvement in my working memory, I see taking meds for ADHD as not worth it.
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Old 06-12-13, 11:03 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

The problem with your question is that even though most ADHD medications seem to be not much more than different delivery systems for the same kinds of substances, they affect everybody a little bit differently. So you'll get different answers from different people--some will tell you the only medication worth taking is Vyvanse, or Ritalin, or Adderall, or extended-release Adderal, or Strattera, or whatever, and that you'd be a fool to try anything else. In my view, the only thing you can be sure of is that you're highly unlikely to know which medicine will work for what until you do a trial with a competent doctor. In any case, I haven't heard that any drug is better at relieving any specific symptom.

I will say, though, that Vyvanse, which is a long-acting form of dexamphetamine (I think), makes huge improvements in my motivation, impulsiveness, distractability and general ability to stick to tasks, but almost entirely fries my working memory and language fluency (not a good thing for a lawyer!!), and raises my anxiety to the point where I freeze up as deadlines approach. It took five months of titrating to 60mg to find this out, so I feel like I'm back to square one, maybe square one and a half if all I have to do is add another med to rehabilitate the worsened aspects of my executive function.

As an aside, when I was first diagnosed, I thought I was able to regulate my emotions and wasn't particularly impulsive. Since then I've learned that "impulsive" means something a little different than I've thought. After studying this disorder and my own life history, I've learned that I was wrong, and that ADHD has affected every single aspect of my life, from the car I drive to my discomfort meeting people who want to be friends with me, in ways that will take me a long time to come to terms with.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-13, 11:11 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

Try some Addrall or other stimulent and see how you react.

My response to Adderall was immediate. Very good. Focusing/relaxing, not a wired feeling at all. And I can function off of it too. Working on retraining myself and my reactions.
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Old 06-14-13, 11:05 AM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

From my experience (and from what I've seen other people describe as their experiences), people who are being treated for ADHD and see an improvement in memory is more from a med clearing the fog and or chatter in their head so that they can focus, concentrate, and better understand ideas/emotions/conversations as they're presented to them.

The meds don't specifically target the brain to improve it's memory function. It's more of a byproduct of allowing information to be processed quicker and more efficiently. Since you describe yourself as "not easily distracted" and in "full control over... my emotions", I'm guessing ADHD meds may not give you the results you're looking for.

There are OTC supplements/herbal remedies that some people seem to respond to: ginko, fish oil, etc. But, those seem to be hit or miss depending on the person.

Good luck. I have a terrible memory myself, so I know how frustrating it can be.
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Old 06-14-13, 02:15 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

I'm not sure how old you are. People who discover after many years that they've had ADHD all their lives have all developed our own habits, work-arounds, things we avoid, patterns of life, etc etc. It becomes quite a tangled web of cause and effect, where you can't necessarily tell why something is the way it is - is my memory problem caused by depression, or is the memory problem a root cause? If it's the depression causing memory problems, is my depression a root cause, or does it come from bad events in life? If it's bad events in life, then are they... on and on and on, a never-ending stream of intertwined causes and effects.

For some people, ADHD medication "cuts the Gordian knot". Despite what you may read, it is not fully known how and why the medications work.

If you are pretty sure you have ADHD, then it would be to your benefit to see a psychiatrist and find out what's going on. If the doctor recommends medication, try it. If you hate it or if it doesn't work, tell the doctor you don't want to continue medication, the doctor says "OK, stop it then", and that's it. There's no scary withdrawal as there can be with other types of medications - when quitting ADHD medications, being tired and slow for a few days is generally all that's expected.
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Old 06-14-13, 04:25 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

Cycling through medications when your every day life is impacted is very risky. You can't gamble with your job/school/etc.
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Old 06-15-13, 07:03 AM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

I am on dexamphetamine but it doesn't help that much with working memory for me - audible working memory in particular. I find I have to write everything down because things just don't stick in my head.
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Old 06-15-13, 09:43 AM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

Well, before I got back on meds I didn't do anything. I was like a sleepwalker going thru the motions and in bed most of the day - like in a waking coma.

So, if I have to write things down that's ok by me as now I'm doing what I have to do with some help. So be it.

Maybe you need to use the BrainGym.? Exercising the brain helps and there are good programs online to do that and see if you're getting any results.

I'd ask your pdoc about your concerns.
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Old 06-15-13, 02:36 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

I've been on various dosages of Concerta and to be honest, I am not even sure that it's working. Sometimes I think that it is and other times I have serious doubts. I have ADHD- Inattentive and have read that it's not good for that type and that there are better ones for it which I can't now recall. (LOL!!)

I am on Johnson & Johnson's Patient Assistant Program for it b/c I don't have insurance so switching to another med may not be possible if another manufacturer's program won't accept me so I feel very stuck.
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Old 06-15-13, 02:45 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

ADHD isn't an issue of memory itself. It's rather an issue of not painting a clear picture of the event itself while its happening, effecting your ability to recall it later on in your mind.

You can't recall information that simply isn't in your mind to begin with, which is the real issue.

Certain medications that kick your brain into gear (such as stimulants) allow you to think more clearly in the moment, thus enabling you to recall the information clearly later on in your mind when you need it.
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Old 06-15-13, 05:51 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

There are many things that can impact working memory other than ADHD. Emotional dysregulation and poor self control are huge parts of ADHD. If you don't have the whole package, it's likely not ADHD. Yet as litterbuggy said, a lot of us DO have all the symptoms, we're just crap at seeing them.

That said, stimulants do help a lot with working memory. So it's worth talking to a psych about it. You don't have to have true ADHD to get a stimulant prescription (at least in the US) but I don't think I'd take stims only to improve working memory.
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Old 06-16-13, 08:52 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

I guess that I don't find that medication helps me one iota with working memory. It merely prevents me from going way off-track while I'm trying to remember.

But maybe that's just me...
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Old 06-18-13, 05:19 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ana futura View Post
If you don't have the whole package, it's likely not ADHD. Yet as litterbuggy said, a lot of us DO have all the symptoms, we're just crap at seeing them.
I'm not sure I'd put it that way. As it is, doctors seem to use any excuse not to provide medication or even credibility to patients who can't document childhood ADHD or some other particular factor that a particular doctor has decided is necessary for a diagnosis, when the diagnostic criteria call for the presence of a certain number of listed factors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser_0762 View Post
You can't recall information that simply isn't in your mind to begin with, which is the real issue.
Thanks--I think that's a Barkley quote, but I keep forgetting it!!
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Old 06-18-13, 07:51 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

I think a lot of things are called ADHD that aren't really ADHD, and honestly, I'm sick of it. There's "adhd" and then there's ADHD. One is just a diagnosis, the other is a specific neurological disorder.

The muddying of these two things hinders the understanding of my disorder. Calling everything and anything ADHD is part of the reason doctors are so weird about the diagnosis. A lot of times it isn't ADHD, so let's stop calling it that (like sct). Barkley himself says without impulse control issues, there is no ADHD. Period.

Yet a lot of people benefit from stimulant medication- like people who have Chemo induced memory problems, or treatment resistant depression. I have two close friends who don't have anything resembling my disorder, do not have an ADHD dx, yet they have scripts for stimulants.

If you can't show impairment from childhood, you don't have ADHD. That doesn't mean stimulants won't help you, or that a sympathetic doctor won't help you.
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Old 06-18-13, 07:56 PM
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Re: What meds work best for working memory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ana futura View Post
I think a lot of things are called ADHD that aren't really ADHD, and honestly, I'm sick of it. There's "adhd" and then there's ADHD. One is just a diagnosis, the other is a very specific neurological disorder.

The muddying of these two things hinders the understanding of my disorder. Calling everything and anything ADHD is part of the reason doctors are so weird about the diagnosis. A lot of times it isn't ADHD, so let's stop calling it that (like sct). Barkley himself says without impulse control issues, there is no ADHD. Period.

Yet a lot of people benefit from stimulant medication- like people who have Chemo induced memory problems, or treatment resistant depression. I have two close friends who don't have anything resembling my disorder, do not have an ADHD dx, yet they have scripts for stimulants.
Sometimes I wonder if it's ADHD myself.

Whenever I do those test thingies that give you the scale 1-5 questions or whatever, I can't help thinking that anybody who does these tests will score highly.

Then again, maybe I just think everybody who does the tests will score highly, because i've spent the best part of my life oblivious to my problems, thinking everybody lived this way.

It's so confusing.
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