Using naturalistic driving behavior to identify older adults with preclinical or symptomatic Alzheimer disease
We know that older adults (age ≥ 65) will double to 88 million by 2050 and will represent 25% of all drivers in the United States. Crashes are a leading cause of injury and deaths among older adults and are higher among those who have= Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our goal is to examine the extent to which an unobtrusive, in-vehicle data logger, capturing driving behavior on a daily basis, reflects underlying AD pathology . We will test whether naturalistic driving behavior can better identify older adults with early AD (very mild/mild) from cognitively normal older adults (with and without preclinical AD) compared to performance on a road test. We have developed a new methodology, the Driving Real-World In-Vehicle Evaluation System (DRIVES) that we will use to capture daily driving behavior among older adult drivers. Our device plugs under the dashboard, captures data on date, time, speed, longitude/latitude anytime a vehicle is driven, and transmits the data via satellites to secured servers. The data is collected uniformly across all 50 states. This work is intended to be further developed for clinical applications where this digital biomarker can predict who will be most at risk for driving decline and to pinpoint when that decline starts.
Murphy SA, Babulal GM, Roe CM. The Importance of Advancing Research on Aging and Driving. Geriatrics (Basel). 2021 Jan 14;6(1):7. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics6010007. PMID: 33466718; PMCID: PMC7838892.