Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

How to Determine Driving Ability in Alzheimer's Disease. (MMSE, Grandchildren Test)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

How to Determine Driving Ability in Alzheimer's Disease. (MMSE, Grandchildren Test)

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE -- Two simple tests can help convince reluctant families that it is time for a person with Alzheimer's disease to stop driving, Dr. Constantine G. Lyketsos said at a meeting on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias sponsored by Johns Hopkins University.

Because about two-thirds of patients with Alzheimer's disease are unaware that they are impaired, many will reject suggestions that their driving days are over. Furthermore, their adult children also may resist the suggestion as well, said Dr. Lyketsos, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

From his perspective, any patient who scores less than 18 on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) should stop driving, as should anyone who has already had a dementia-related driving problem, Dr. Lyketsos noted at the meeting, which was cosponsored by the American Geriatrics Society and the Greater Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

However, a different test may resonate better with families: When adult children are no longer comfortable having their parent chauffeur their children, it's time to take away the keys altogether.

In a separate presentation, Dr. …

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