Meta-analysis of 27 studies showed caregiver reports may be unreliable; visuospatial tests were the best predictors of driving skill
When cognitive skills start fading, how do we know when its time to stop driving? Although there is some consensus that individuals with moderate to severe dementia should not drive, it has been much harder to screen people with mild dementia, the earliest stage of the mental deterioration typical of Alzheimers disease. Researchers in Washington state recently reviewed all published reports on the subject and determined that for these people, specific tests of mental status and visuospatial skills predict driving performance. Honing in on specific aspects of an individuals neuropsychological functioning could help clinicians and government agencies develop the right tools to keep drivers – and everyone else on the road – safe. The report appears in the January issue of Neuropsychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
On-road and non-road (simulator) tests both proved to be superior to caregiver reports in revealing significant relationships between neuropsychological functioning and driving ability.
Pam Willenz | EurekAlert!
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