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Steve Thompson recalls signs of his early-onset dementia
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Dementia describes a syndrome connected with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. There are many different types of this syndrome, with Alzheimer’s disease being prevalent. This specific type could start presenting signs when you drive your car.
Research suggests that patients with Alzheimer’s disease get significantly worse at driving once the condition starts impacting their motor skills.
The condition can slow down people’s reactions, resulting in issues with parking.
However, giving up the car keys can often make dementia patients feel stressed and agitated.
The study, published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, explains the signs in driving which could be pointing to the memory-robbing condition.
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The researchers noticed that those with dementia were significantly more likely to make abrupt changes in direction.
The drivers with Alzheimer’s disease were also more likely to drive slower.
Based on these changes, the research team was able to produce a model for predicting if people had the condition.
What’s more, this model was able to predict dementia cases accurately in 90 percent of the people.
The study set out to investigate the link between driving and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.
In case you’re not aware, sta je bolje cialis ili viagra preclinical Alzheimer’s disease details the period in which brain changes start occurring but cognitive symptoms are not yet showing.
The research looked at the driving habits of 139 people over a year.
Around 64 individuals were diagnosed with an early Alzheimer’s disease, while the rest were dementia free.
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The study concluded: “The findings suggest that GPS driving may serve as an effective and accurate digital biomarker for identifying preclinical AD [Alzheimer’s disease] among older adults.”
However, the research team also noted there might be some limitations to their findings.
For example, the study only looked at a small sample of the population from the greater St Louis metropolitan area in America, so these findings may not be applicable to other regions.
Plus, the researchers also noted that it’s possible that a small number of car trips was actually taken by friends and family members instead of the dementia patients.
Apart from changes in your driving behaviour, there are also other symptoms that can point to dementia.
The NHS lists these warning signs to look out for:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks (getting confused over the correct change when shopping)
- Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes.
The health service recommends seeing a GP if you or someone you know suffers from these symptoms.
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