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Early Alzheimer's can erode driving skills


In this article from USA Today, new research indicates that the impact of even very early Alzheimer's can have a negative effect on driving skills, contrary to what was earlier believed.

"Our research indicates that even among people who have early, mild cases of cognitive decline, there is an immediate drop-off in driving skills," says study author Jeffrey Dawson, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City.

The most common gaffes were lane violations, Dawon says. "We saw about a 50% increase in crossing-the-line errors in Alzheimer's patients," he says, noting that all of the participants still had their driver's licenses.

Dawson says he hopes the research will lead to development of potential interventions and alerting devices for the cars of Alzheimer's patients.

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