A naturalistic driving study investigating self-regulation behavior in early Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study

Résumé : BACKGROUND: Because cognitive processes decline in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease, the driving abilities are often affected. The naturalistic driving approach is relevant to study the driving habits and behaviors in normal or critical situations in a familiar environment of participants. OBJECTIVE: This pilot study analyzed in-car video recordings of naturalistic driving in patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and in healthy controls, with a special focus on tactical self-regulation behavior. METHODS: Twenty patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease (Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition [DSM-IV] criteria), and 21 healthy older adults were included in the study. Data collection equipment was installed in their personal vehicles. Two expert psychologists assessed driving performance using a specially designed Naturalistic Driving Assessment Scale (NaDAS), paying particular attention to tactical self-regulation behavior, and they recorded all critical safety events. RESULTS: Poorer driving performance was observed among Alzheimer's disease drivers: their tactical self-regulation behavior was of lower quality. AD patients had also twice as many critical events as healthy drivers and three times more 'unaware' critical events. CONCLUSION: This pilot study using a naturalistic approach to accurately show that Alzheimer's disease drivers have poorer tactical self-regulation behavior than healthy older drivers. Future deployment of assistance systems in vehicles should specifically target tactical self-regulation components.
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Laurence Paire-Ficout, Sylviane Lafont, Fanny Conte, Amandine Coquillat, Colette Fabrigoule, et al.. A naturalistic driving study investigating self-regulation behavior in early Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, IOS Press, In press, ⟨10.3233/JAD-171031⟩. ⟨hal-01801844⟩

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