Navigation Links
GHSU researcher assesses driving capability in MS patients

AUGUSTA, Ga. A simple, accurate testing protocol to determine driving fitness in individuals with multiple sclerosis is the aim of a three-year study at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Dr. Abiodun Akinwuntan, Interim Associate Dean for Research in the GHSU College of Allied Health Sciences, has received a $360,000 grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for phase one of a double-site study. Recruitment is underway for 90 participants at the GHSU Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in Augusta and an equal number at the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

"Multiple sclerosis is a progressive neurological disease that affects the ability to drive. In the early stages, it is possible for some patients to remain safe drivers; however, it is only a matter of time before the disease progresses to a level where driving is unsafe," said Akinwuntan, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Neurology and Ophthalmology and Director of the GHSU Driving Simulation Laboratory.

The accident rate for drivers with MS is estimated to be three times higher than that of similarly aged healthy individuals, said Akinwuntan.

In an earlier study, Akinwuntan assessed 50 patients with relapsing-remitting MS, the most common of four types, and determined that just five specific fitness-to-drive tests could predict pass or fail outcomes on a road test with 91 percent accuracy.

Current practices administer 15 to 22 tests that last up to three hours and cost as much as $450. The five psychometric off-road tests can be given in less than 45 minutes for approximately $150.

The new study hopes to validate those findings by including patients with all four types of MS, expanding the number of subjects to 180, and narrowing participation to those who score between 3 and 7 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale.

"Studies have shown that typically those who score below 2.5 are relatively good drivers and those above 7 are not to fit to drive," Akinwuntan said. "So we are concentrating on those people in the middle who are starting to experience deficits that would affect their driving."

A planned second phase of the NMSS study will focus on drivers' training. Running concurrent with phase one is a supplementary study funded by an Extramural Success Award from the GHSU Research Institute to compare driving simulation training with Wii-based exercise training to determine the more effective treatment. Dr. Miriam Cortez-Cooper is co-investigator.

Phase-one study participants will be tested for up to four hours over two days. The supplemental training study will last five weeks.

"The earlier drivers incorporate intervention training, the longer they will be able to stay on the road and maintain independence," Akinwuntan said.

An interdisciplinary GHSU pilot study is also testing the same program on patients with age-related macular degeneration. Akinwuntan has had success with similar programs for stroke patients and individuals with Parkinson's disease.

Contact: Sharron Walls
Georgia Health Sciences University

Related medicine news :

1. JTCC researchers play important role in groundbreaking study that may change transplant practices
2. Researchers use computer simulations to find true cost of HIV screenings
3. Sleeping Pill Linked to Hospital Falls, Researchers Say
4. Daycare has many benefits for children, but researchers find mysterious link with overweight
5. GW Researcher receives grant to study parasitic worm role in bile duct cancer in Southeast Asia
6. Researchers outline effective strategies to prevent teen depression and suicide
7. Researchers report potential new treatment to stop Alzheimers disease
8. Feinstein Institute researchers discover plant derivative
9. Researcher: Military should reassess reproductive health care for women
10. GW researcher receives $4.1 million grant to find alternative treatment for kidney stones
11. Coca-Cola model for delivering malaria meds is a success, says Princeton researcher
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
GHSU researcher assesses driving capability in MS patients
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... The Cyber Monday deal is a deep 40% or more discount on ... get gifts for the skin care lover in your circle. Each Christmas, Sublime Beauty ... year, the 3 serums are staples: Collagen, Retinol and Hyaluronic Serums. , Stocking stuffers like ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... While conventional ... kneeling or provide ready access to exercise weights. Fortunately, an inventor from Uniontown, Pa., ... THE TOMMY WALKER to enhance the benefits of a standard walker to improve the ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub style ... Black Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd Scrub ... to purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is to ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... , ... November 28, 2015 , ... Safe storage for ... of two inventors, one from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, ... patent-pending PROTECTOR to save the expense of having to replace NuvaRings more often than ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... , ... Pixel Film Studios is back again with ProPanel: Pulse . ... endless. Users have full control over angle of view, speed method, start point, end ... to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers fully customizable pulsating shape masks, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing ... to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The market ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... Global Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... European Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: ... Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: