The study involved an on-road driving test of 71 people with mild to moderate Parkinson disease who were current drivers and 147 people of similar age with no neurological disorders. While driving, the participants were given a verbal addition task that simulates the amount of distraction similar to having a conversation with a passenger or using a cell phone while driving.
While distracted, 28 percent of those with Parkinson disease made more driving safety mistakes than they did when they were not distracted, compared to 16 percent of those who did not have Parkinson disease. Those with Parkinson who made more safety mistakes and had poorer ability to control their speed and steering due to effects of distraction also did worse on tests of memory, vision and balance and the ability to switch attention between competing tasks, and were more likely to have excessive daytime sleepiness.
"The abilities of the people with Parkinson disease varied greatly, which in some ways is not surprising because this disease affects people very differently," said neurologist and principal investigator Ergun Uc, MD, of the University of Iowa and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City. "Clearly, Parkinson disease can affect the ability to drive, and that effect grows as the disease progresses. People with Parkinson disease should be aware of this potential decline in driving ability and their family and friends should also monitor it and then recheck periodically."
Uc noted that the well-known motor problems caused by the disease -- tremors and difficulty with movement -- had less effect on driving ability than lesser known aspects of the disease such as effects on mental functioning, vision and sleep.
Angela Babb | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering