The American Academy of Neurology has issued a new guideline to help determine when people with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia should stop driving. The guideline is published in the April 12, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and will be presented April 12, 2010, at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in Toronto.
“While some people with dementia can still drive safely for a time, nearly all people with dementia will eventually have to give up driving,” said lead guideline author Donald J. Iverson, MD, with the Humboldt Neurological Medical Group, Inc. in Eureka, Calif., and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “It’s important for doctors to discuss this with patients and caregivers soon after the diagnosis since restricted driving will affect the patient’s quality of life and may lead to other health concerns such as depression.”
The guideline recommends doctors use the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale to identify people with dementia at an increased risk of unsafe driving. The CDR provides a tool for clinicians to integrate information from caregivers and from direct examination of the patient to develop a comprehensive view of the dementia severity.