American Academy of Neurology 2010 Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) held its 2010 annual meeting from April 10 to 17 in Toronto. The features below highlight some of the news emerging from the AAN meeting. » New Driving Recommendations for Dementia Patients » New Gene Implicated in AD » A Potential New Treatment for Pseudobulbar Affect » Guillain-Barré Syndrome Risk Low After H1N1 Vaccination » Alcohol, Smoking, and Stroke New Driving Recommendations for Dementia Patients [Back to Top] The Particulars:Although some people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can drive safely for a time, nearly all of these patients will eventually have to forego driving. Evidence shows that driving skills deteriorate with increasing dementia severity. Physicians should discuss this inevita­bility with patients and caregivers soon after their diagnosis as it is likely to affect quality of life and may lead to other health concerns, such as depression. The American Academy of Neurology issued a new guideline to help determine when people with AD or another type of dementia should stop driving. Data Breakdown: Physicians are recommended to use the Clinical Dementia Rating scale to identify people with dementia or AD who are at an increased risk of unsafe driving. It is recommended that caregivers be encouraged to trust their instincts; caregivers who rate driving as “marginal” or “unsafe” were often correct when patients took on-road driving tests. However, patients who rate their own driving appear to be less accurate in their own assessments. Caregivers and family members play a role in identifying warning signs from unsafe drivers with dementia, including decreased miles being driven; collisions; moving violations; avoiding certain driving situations (eg, driving...