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Pre-MCI Diagnostic, Dementia, Older Adult Driver Safety, Naturalistic Driving Study


Age-related cognitive decline may present unique challenges for aging drivers. The goal of this effort is to explore the use of naturalistic driving data to identify those with pre-diagnosis cognitive decline (i.e., pre-mild cognitive impairment, preMCI). Researchers relied on naturalistic driving data collected in the New River Valley area of Virginia, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. Metrics revealed differences in driving patterns and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) use between the pre-MCI and cognitively normal groups. A second analysis was conducted incorporating data from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2), affording comparisons between participants driving vehicles equipped with ADAS and those without. Results trended towards those with pre-MCI demonstrating modest differences compared to cognitively normal individuals in terms of mobility related metrics, especially when driving vehicles equipped with L2 technology (regardless of the fact that these technologies were not frequently deployed). In addition, driving safety performance metrics may one day be able to serve as the “canary in the coal mine” for the detection of pre-MCI.