Author Topic: (AAN abst.) Fitness to drive in persons w/MS and cognitive impairment: a pilot study  (Read 87 times)

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Offline agate

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According to this,
PwMS are involved in more motor vehicle accidents and commit more traffic offenses than persons without MS.

Presented at the annual AAN meeting in Boston, April 2017:

Fitness to drive in persons with MS and cognitive impairment: a pilot study

Sarah Anne Morrow1, Miriam Monahan2, Tim Danter2, Robert Taylor2, Sarah Krasniuk2, Heather Rosehart1, Wenqing He2, Sherrilene Classen3

1University Hospital - LHSC, 2 Western University, 3 School of Occupational Therapy


To assess fitness to drive in persons with MS (PwMS) with documented cognitive impairment (CI) but low physical disability.


CI is common in PwMS, frequently presenting with impaired information processing speed. The effect of CI on driving performance has been studied in dementia populations; impaired attention, visual-spatial skills and executive function impair fitness to drive. Few studies have focused on fitness to drive in PwMS and no studies
have solely focused on the influence of CI. Yet, PwMS are involved in more motor vehicle accidents and commit more traffic offenses than persons without MS.


PwMS aged 18-59 years old with low physical disability (EDSS ≤ 4.0) and documented impairment on objective measures of processing speed and at least one other objective measure of memory or executive function were recruited. CI was assessed using the Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function (MACFIMS) battery.

Excluded were PwMS who did not meet the required visual guidelines of the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), had a concomitant disease or were taking medications that could cause CI.

A formal on-road assessment for fitness to drive was conducted by a certified driver rehabilitation specialist and driving instructor on a validated pre-planned route, incorporating driving tasks consistent with the MOT road course.


Of the 56 subjects who consented to participate, 38 subjects completed the on-road assessment. One subject was removed due to not meeting the visual guidelines of the MOT and 17 withdrew consent. At the time of this abstract, complete data on 33 subjects was available; 7 failed the on-road assessment.

The best cognitive predictor of failure on the on-road driving assessment was impairment on the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test, Revised (BVMTR), a measure of visual-spatial memory.


In PwMS with impaired processing speed, impairment on the BVMTR should lead clinicians to consider fitness to drive.

Study Supported by:

This study was supported by a pilot grant award from the National MS Society (NMSS).
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.


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