Thursday, January 24, 2008

Driving proves potentially hazardous for people with early Alzheimer's

Driving proves potentially hazardous for people with early Alzheimer's - that's the title of a press release on Eurekalert. Gee, you think?

I don't want to make light of this and I'm not. Alzheimer's disease is a devastating illness and people who have been hurt in accidents because of someone driving who shouldn't have been is equally devastating. But I'm astounded, truly astounded, to read this: "While the study does confirm previous reports of potentially hazardous driving in persons with early AD, it also indicates that some individuals with very mild dementia can continue to drive safety for extended periods of time."

Who is going to decide which people with early AD can drive? Do we really have the resources to follow up on this? If someone with early AD can drive one month, depending on the speed of deterioration, who is to say he or she can drive the next month?

This paragraph blew me away: "The study results indicate that people with early AD experienced more accidents and performed more poorly on road tests when compared to participants without cognitive impairments. “We also found that people with what is defined as mild dementia were significantly more like to fail a road test than those defined with very mild dementia.”"

I know I've gone on about studies that are a waste of time and money, but really - was this necessary? Did we really need a study to tell us that someone with dementia could be a danger behind the wheel??

News for Today:

Study questions benefit of cough, cold meds for adults

Too few U.S. adults get their vaccines: survey

Study Says Allergy Shots Help Children, Reduce Health Care Costs

Less education may lead to delayed awareness of Alzheimer's onset

Driving proves potentially hazardous for people with early Alzheimer's

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Further Association Between Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer


Terrie Farley Moran said...

I am temporarily working on the computer at the public library when one is avaiable, so I've been lurking a lot and not posting much, but I wanted to say a special thanks for the link re: diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Terrie

Marijke Durning said...

Thanks for writing Terrie. Good timing because I was just pondering if I should shut down the blog.

I get decent traffic, but few comments so I don't know if the blog is helping all that much. I know you use it. :-)

Oddly enough, I almost didn't put that news story in - I'm not sure why. I'm glad you find it helpful.

Take care,

Joanne Mason said...

Please don't shut down the blog!

I'm amazed at this study. Perhaps more energy could have been directed toward helping folks get the car keys away from their loved ones. Both of my parents had Alzheimer's and this was one of the more difficult aspects of caregiving in the early stages, especially with my father. The loss of independence is dramatic. I think this is a huge hurdle for a lot of families.

Marijke Durning said...

Joanne, you make a really good point and put into words why I'm so frustrated with studies like this. It's a terrible thing to have to live with and family and caregivers need a lot more support than they seem to get.

Thanks for stopping by. After a lot of consideration, I won't be stopping the blog. Believe it or not, a new client found me this way so it's not only a good outlet for me just to write about what I want, it is doing good for both those who read it (I hope!) and me.