Study predicts dementia via driving data
Tracking drivers’ behaviors can predict dementia, according to a recent study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Researchers developed algorithms for detecting mild cognitive impairment and dementia in older drivers, according to the study’s findings, published in the journal Geriatrics this spring. In fact, they successfully predicted mild cognitive impairment and dementia with an 88% accuracy rate.
Nearly 3,000 people participated in the LongROAD study, in which a recording device was placed in their car to track naturalistic driving data.
Although drivers’ age was the factor that most accurately predicted mild cognitive impairment and dementia, researchers also looked at their race and ethnicity, the percentage of trips traveled within 15 miles of home, minutes per trip, and number of times they hit the brakes and decelerated quickly.
“Driving is a complex task involving dynamic cognitive processes and requiring essential cognitive functions and perceptual motor skills,” said Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, professor of epidemiology and anesthesiology at Columbia Mailman School and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and senior author of the LongROAD study.
“Our study indicates that naturalistic driving behaviors can be used as comprehensive and reliable markers for mild cognitive impairment and dementia.”