Navigation Links
Common Alzheimer's medication helps skills necessary for safe driving

PROVIDENCE, RI A promising study from Rhode Island Hospital demonstrated that cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEI), a type of medication often prescribed for Alzheimer's disease (AD), improved some cognitive skills in patients with mild AD skills that are necessary for driving. Findings from the study showed that after being treated with a ChEI, AD patients improved in some computerized tests of executive function and visual attention, including a simulated driving task. The study is published in the June 2010 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

The study was led by Lori Daiello, PharmD, a research associate at the Rhode Island Hospital Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center (ADMDC). Daiello says, "Because many patients receiving a diagnosis of AD continue to drive in its early stages, it is critical that we assess driving safety among this population and identify therapies that may improve driving abilities. ChEIs are commonly prescribed for AD, yet little is known about how their potential treatment effects might impact a driver's skills."

The researchers studied the performance of 24 outpatients with newly-diagnosed, untreated, early stage AD using tests that simulate typical situations encountered in on-road driving. The subjects participated in computerized tests of visual attention (visual search performed alone or in conjunction with simulated driving) and executive function (maze navigation) both prior to beginning treatment with a ChEI and again after three months of therapy. The primary analysis consisted of comparing the test performance of AD patients before starting ChEI treatment and after three months of therapy. In a secondary cross-sectional analysis, the subjects' pre-ChEI computerized test performances were compared to the abilities of a matched group of AD patients who had performed the same computerized tests while receiving stable ChEI therapy (i.e., greater than three months) during a prior study of driving and dementia conducted at the Rhode Island Hospital ADMDC.

The researchers report that ChEI treatment demonstrated consistent effects in both the pre- and post-treatment comparison as well as the cross-sectional comparisons. There were three key findings:

  • ChEI treatment was associated with improvement in the ability to accurately maintain lane position during the simulated driving task. This was noted in the pre- and post-ChEI treatment comparison. It was also noted as an effect of ChEI user status when the visual search task was performed without simulated driving in the cross-sectional comparisons.
  • ChEI treatment was associated with improved target detection accuracy in the visual search task and quicker visual search response times in both the pre- and post-treatment comparison and cross-sectional comparisons.
  • After ChEI treatment, subjects completed the computerized mazes faster, although accuracy of completion was not affected.

Daiello, who is also an assistant professor of neurology (research) at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, says, "This study is the first of its kind to investigate how treatment might impact cognitive domains critical to driving safety in AD patients." While relatively little is known about how ChEIs affect cognitive functions in AD other than memory, these results indicate an improvement in either attention processes or executive control. The investigators note that while the results are encouraging, this study lacked a direct measure of on-road driving performance. These preliminary findings, however, warrant further investigation. As Daiello says, "The results show an improvement in the skills that will impact a patient's ability to perform tasks associated with safe driving."


Contact: Nancy Cawley Jean

Related medicine news :

1. Happy Feet are Healthy Feet: Common Sense Tips on Taking Care of Your Feet to Survive the Holiday Season
2. Cracking the code on common wrist injury
3. Murtha Gallbladder Removal Complications Underscore Risk of Common Surgery
4. Sinovac Announces Closing of Common Share Offering
5. New model of skin cancer provides insights on second-most common type of cancer
6. Parkinsons More Common in Northeast, Midwest
7. Skipping Insulin May Not Be Uncommon
8. Common antidepressant drugs linked to lactation difficulties in moms
9. Complications common, often linked to trauma in children receiving cochlear implants
10. Deadly Choking Game Still Common Among Kids
11. New White Paper Details Six Common Bad Assumptions About Hearing Protection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... Chicago, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... the assets of Tri Lite’s personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains ... low-wattage personal heaters that fit in well with the Cozy Products business model: to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s ... learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions ... 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result of the $20,000 ... annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help individuals ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An ... is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified ... a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving ... awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest designed to utilize ... driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost 1,000 entries of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Research and Markets ... "Membranes Market - Global Forecast to 2020" ... , accounting for 37.21% of the total market ... Asia-Pacific region is projected to growth at ... has been attributed primarily to the fast growing water, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SHANGHAI , Nov. 25, 2015 WuXi ... WX ), a leading open-access R&D capability and technology ... industries with operations in China ... announced that at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders ... the proposal to authorize and approve the previously announced ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical industry, companies ... effort to quickly uncover new insights, tactics and strategies ... --> --> However, organizations often find ... project and ensure that all rules and regulations are ... Another major barrier to efficiently launching market research projects ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: