Prediction of On-Road Driving Performance in Patients with Early Alzheimer’s Disease

Evaluating automobile drivers who have early dementia, such as that in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, can be complex and can have a significant impact on lifestyle. Physicians and family members are frequently asked to provide information about driving ability in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), yet there has been little research on the validity of their assessments of driving performance. This article reports on a cross-sectional study that included 75 older adults (17 with mild AD, 33 with very mild AD, and 25 elderly controls). The participants rated themselves, as did an informant, and an experienced neurologist; each participant's driving ability was rated on a 3-point rating scale (safe, marginal, unsafe). A professional driving instructor also completed a standardized 108-point on-road driving assessment of each participant and then rated driving ability on the same 3-point scale. Only the neurologist's rating of the participants' driving abilities was significantly related to on-road driving score. Overall, the instructor was the most stringent rater of participant driving ability, followed by the neurologist, the informant, and the participant. The instructor was more likely than the neurologist or the informant to deem driving abilities as marginal or unsafe, even when blinded to the participant’s AD status. The authors conclude that an experienced neurologist's assessment of driving competence may be a valid predictor of driving performance of patients with early AD.

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  • Authors:
    • Brown, Laura B
    • Ott, Brian R
    • Papandonatos, George D
    • Sui, Yunxia
    • Ready, Rebecca E
    • Morris, John C
  • Publication Date: 2005-1


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01042688
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 28 2007 7:58AM