Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Guidelines issued on when people with Alzheimer's disease should stop driving

Date:
April 13, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
The American Academy of Neurology has issued a new guideline to help determine when people with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia should stop driving.

The American Academy of Neurology has issued a new guideline to help determine when people with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia should stop driving. The guideline is published in the April 12, 2010, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, and will be presented April 12, 2010, at the American Academy of Neurology's Annual Meeting in Toronto.

"While some people with dementia can still drive safely for a time, nearly all people with dementia will eventually have to give up driving," said lead guideline author Donald J. Iverson, MD, with the Humboldt Neurological Medical Group, Inc. in Eureka, Calif., and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "It's important for doctors to discuss this with patients and caregivers soon after the diagnosis since restricted driving will affect the patient's quality of life and may lead to other health concerns such as depression."

The guideline recommends doctors use the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale to identify people with dementia at an increased risk of unsafe driving. The CDR provides a tool for clinicians to integrate information from caregivers and from direct examination of the patient to develop a comprehensive view of the dementia severity.

Evidence shows driving skills deteriorate with increasing dementia severity. "While patients with mild dementia, as a group, are higher-risk drivers, more recent studies report that as many as 76 percent are still able to pass an on-road driving test and can safely drive," said Iverson. "Faced with these facts, we needed to provide guidelines for doctors caring for these patients to identify those people at higher risk of unsafe driving, without unnecessarily restricting those who are safe drivers."

The guidelines also found that caregivers should trust their instincts. A study found that caregivers who rate a patient's driving as "marginal" or "unsafe" were often proven correct when the patient took an on-road driving test. On the other hand, patients who deemed their own driving as "safe" were not necessarily accurate in their own assessments.

Caregivers and family members play a role in identifying warning signs from unsafe drivers with dementia. These include:

  • Decreased miles being driven
  • Collisions
  • Moving violations
  • Avoiding certain driving situations, such as driving at night or in the rain
  • Aggressive or impulsive personality traits

"It is important that the decision to stop driving be directed by a doctor who is trained and experienced in working with people with dementia and their families," Iverson said. "Doctors should be aware that assessing driving ability is a complex process. More than one source of information is needed to make a judgment. In some situations, a dementia specialist may be needed."

Doctors, patients and caregivers must also know their state laws, since some states require that doctors report any medical conditions that may impact their ability to drive safely.

The guideline is an update of the 2000 American Academy of Neurology guideline on driving with dementia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. J. Iverson, G. S. Gronseth, M. A. Reger, S. Classen, R. M. Dubinsky, and M. Rizzo. Practice Parameter update: Evaluation and management of driving risk in dementia. Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, 2010 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181da3b0f

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Guidelines issued on when people with Alzheimer's disease should stop driving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412161902.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, April 13). Guidelines issued on when people with Alzheimer's disease should stop driving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412161902.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Guidelines issued on when people with Alzheimer's disease should stop driving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412161902.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) — Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins