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Study: Cognitive training can help maintain driving mobility

Driving2Brain train­ing could add years behind the wheel (Futu­ri­ty):

Old­er adults who par­tic­i­pate in train­ing designed to improve cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty are more like­ly to con­tin­ue dri­ving over the next 10 years than those who don’t, research shows.

For a new study, pub­lished in the jour­nal The Geron­tol­o­gist, researchers stud­ied the effects of three dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive train­ing programs—reasoning, mem­o­ry, and divid­ed attention—on dri­ving ces­sa­tion in old­er adults…Participants who com­plet­ed either the rea­son­ing or divid­ed-atten­tion train­ing were between 55 and 49 per­cent more like­ly to still be dri­vers 10 years after the study began than those who did not receive train­ing. Ran­dom­ly select­ed par­tic­i­pants who received addi­tion­al divid­ed-atten­tion train­ing were 70 per­cent more like­ly to report still dri­ving after 10 years.”

Study: The Impact of Three Cog­ni­tive Train­ing Pro­grams on Dri­ving Ces­sa­tion Across 10 Years: A Ran­dom­ized Con­trolled Tri­al (The Geron­tol­o­gist). From the abstract:

  • Pur­pose of the Study: Dri­ving is impor­tant for old­er adults’ health and well-being, yet lit­tle research has exam­ined inter­ven­tions to main­tain dri­ving mobil­i­ty. As flu­id cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties are strong­ly linked to dri­ving, tar­get­ed cog­ni­tive train­ing inter­ven­tions may impact dri­ving mobil­i­ty lon­gi­tu­di­nal­ly. This study assessed the effects of three dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams (rea­son­ing, speed of pro­cess­ing, and mem­o­ry) on dri­ving ces­sa­tion in old­er adults across 10 years (n = 2,390).
  • Results:…Individuals at-risk for future mobil­i­ty declines were 49% (Haz­ard Ratio (HR) = 0.51, 95% con­fi­dence inter­val [CI]: 0.28, 0.94; n = 336) less like­ly to cease dri­ving after speed of pro­cess­ing train­ing and 55% (HR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.24, 0.86;n = 324) less like­ly to quit dri­ving sub­se­quent to rea­son­ing train­ing. Addi­tion­al boost­er ses­sions for speed of pro­cess­ing train­ing result­ed in a 70% reduc­tion of dri­ving ces­sa­tion (HR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.11, 0.82; n = 252) in the sub­sam­ple analy­ses. There were no sig­nif­i­cant effects of mem­o­ry train­ing.
  • Impli­ca­tions: Some cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tions trans­fer to main­tained dri­ving among those at-risk for mobil­i­ty declines due to cog­ni­tive impair­ment. Future research should iden­ti­fy mod­er­a­tors and medi­a­tors of train­ing and trans­fer effects.

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  1. Steve Zanon says:

    Cog­ni­tive train­ing can help main­tain dri­ving mobil­i­ty as all cog­ni­tive func­tions are high­ly plas­tic. But it is a mis­take to sug­gest that this is a trans­fer effect — these cog­ni­tive skill refine­ment and capac­i­ty build­ing exer­cis­es relate to a num­ber of com­po­nent cog­ni­tive skills nec­es­sary for safe dri­ving. These are core under­ly­ing dri­ving skills not skills at near/far dis­place­ment.

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