Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Disease-, Age-Related Effects of HIV May Impact Driving Abilities of Middle-Aged and Older Adults


Nearly half of people living with HIV experience cognitive deficits that may impact instrumental activities of daily living, including driving, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing research published in the March issue of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

“As the number of people aging with HIV increases, concerns mount that disease-related cognitive deficits may be compounded by age-related deficits,” said David E. Vance, Ph.D., associate director of the Center for Nursing Research and principal investigator of the research. “Disease-related deficits may be compounded by age-related deficits, which may further compromise everyday functions such as driving.”

UAB News

UAB School of Nursing researcher David Vance says as the number of people aging with HIV increases, concerns mount that disease-related cognitive deficits may be compounded by age-related deficits.

In a cross-sectional pilot study funded by a pilot grant from the National Institutes of Health-funded UAB Center for AIDS Research, 26 adults age 40 and older were administered demographic, health, psychosocial and driving habit questionnaires, as well as cognitive assessments and driving simulator tests. While the study participants’ viral load — the level of HIV in one’s blood — was unrelated to driving performance, older age was related to poorer driving.

Study results also found that poorer visual speed-of-processing performance, including useful field of view, was related to poorer driving performance, which included average reaction times.

Mixed findings were observed between driving performance and cognitive function on self-reported driving habits of participants.

Previous studies have shown that individuals with HIV, especially as they age, exhibit lower cognitive performance than do uninfected individuals in the domains of speed of processing, psychomotor speed, executive functioning, and learning and memory.

The purpose of this study was to build on this existing research and examine driving simulator performance in an older sample of adults with HIV than in prior studies. The study had three key aims:

Examine relationships between demographic and mental and physical health variables and driving simulator outcomes

Examine relationships between cognitive and everyday functioning measures and driving simulator outcomes

Examine relationships between demographic and mental and physical health variables, and cognitive measures and driving simulator outcomes measures, as well as self-reported driving habits in older adults with HIV

Considering that, by 2015, nearly half of people living with HIV in the United States will be 50 years of age or older, Vance says this is an area that requires further research efforts.

“Driving is perhaps one of the most cognitively complex everyday activities, involving the ability to successfully negotiate one’s environment on the road by making quick decisions and attending and reacting to various stimuli,” Vance said. “The most pronounced and prevalent cognitive deficits in HIV are found in measures of speed and processing — functions essential to safe driving. Previous research shows 29 percent of adults with HIV have indicated a decreased driving ability. That alone means it’s an area that requires further examination.”

The UAB Edward R. Roybal Center for Translational Research in Aging and Mobility provided the infrastructure and facilities for this research. Greer Burkholder, M.D., assistant professor of infectious diseases, supplied information for the research from the UAB School of Medicine’s 1917 Clinic electronic medical database.

About UAB
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, UAB is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama’s largest employer, with some 23,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually on the state. The five pillars of UAB’s mission deliver knowledge that will change your world: the education of students, who are exposed to multidisciplinary learning and a new world of diversity; research, the creation of new knowledge; patient care, the outcome of ‘bench-to-bedside’ translational knowledge; service to the community at home and around the globe, from free clinics in local neighborhoods to the transformational experience of the arts; and the economic development of Birmingham and Alabama. Learn more at

EDITOR’S NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on all subsequent references.


Tyler Greer | newswise

Further reports about: Abilities Adults Alabama Driving HIV Middle-Aged ability cognitive deficits individuals outcomes relationships

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finding cannabinoids in hair does not prove cannabis consumption
07.10.2015 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

nachricht Older patients recover more slowly from concussion
06.10.2015 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

Im Focus: Physicists shrink particle accelerator

Prototype demonstrates feasibility of building terahertz accelerators

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has built the first prototype of a miniature particle accelerator that uses terahertz radiation instead of radio...

Im Focus: Simple detection of magnetic skyrmions

New physical effect: researchers discover a change of electrical resistance in magnetic whirls

At present, tiny magnetic whirls – so called skyrmions – are discussed as promising candidates for bits in future robust and compact data storage devices. At...

Im Focus: High-speed march through a layer of graphene

In cooperation with the Center for Nano-Optics of Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA), scientists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität have made simulations of the processes that happen when a layer of carbon atoms is irradiated with strong laser light.

Electrons hit by strong laser pulses change their location on ultrashort timescales, i.e. within a couple of attoseconds (1 as = 10 to the minus 18 sec). In...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing healthcare and sustainably strengthening healthcare systems

01.10.2015 | Event News

Conference in Brussels: Tracking and Tracing the Smallest Marine Life Forms

30.09.2015 | Event News

World Alzheimer`s Day – Professor Willnow: Clearer Insights into the Development of the Disease

17.09.2015 | Event News

Latest News

NASA provides an infrared look at Hurricane Joaquin over time

08.10.2015 | Earth Sciences

Theoretical computer science provides answers to data privacy problem

08.10.2015 | Information Technology

Stellar desk in wave-like motion

08.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>