Study Identifies Factors That Predict Driving Cessation in Seniors

Older age, female sex, progression to symptomatic Alzheimer disease associated with driving cessation
senior driver
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WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Among older adults, factors associated with future driving cessation include female sex and neuropsychological measures of cognitive functioning, according to a study published online May 22 in Neurology.

Ganesh M. Babulal, Ph.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a prospective, longitudinal observation study involving participants from the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center and The DRIVES Project. Participants were aged 65 years or older, drove weekly, and were cognitively normal at baseline. A total of 283 participants were included in the study and were followed for a mean of 5.62 years.

The researchers found associations for driving cessation with older age, female sex, progression to symptomatic Alzheimer disease (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] ≥0.5), and poorer performance on a preclinical Alzheimer cognitive composite (PACC) score. Driving cessation was not independently predicted by beta-amyloid (Aβ) positron emission tomography imaging, but cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, specifically t-Tau/Aβ42 and p-Tau/Aβ42 ratios were independent predictors in a simple model adjusting for age, education, and sex. Progression to cognitive impairment based on the CDR and PACC score was associated with a higher risk for driving cessation in the full model, but Alzheimer disease biomarkers were not statistically significant.

"This research contributes valuable insights into the predictors of driving cessation in older adults, with implications for clinical practice and public health policy," the authors write.

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