Background: Emerging evidence shows that cognitively normal older adults with preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) make more errors and are more likely to receive a marginal/fail rating on a standardized road test compared to older adults without preclinical AD, but the extent to which preclinical AD impacts everyday driving behavior is unknown. Objective: To examine self-reported and naturalistic longitudinal driving behavior among persons with and without preclinical AD. Method: We prospectively followed cognitively normal drivers (aged 65 + years) with (n = 10) and without preclinical AD (n = 10) for 2.5 years. Preclinical AD was assessed using amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) with Pittsburgh Compound B. The Driving Habits Questionnaire assessed self-reported driving outcomes. Naturalistic driving was captured using a commercial GPS data logger plugged into the on-board diagnostics II port of each participant's vehicle. Data were sampled every 30 seconds and all instances of speeding, hard braking, and sudden acceleration were recorded. Results: Preclinical AD participants went to fewer places/unique destinations, traveled fewer days, and took fewer trips than participants without preclinical AD. The preclinical AD group reported a smaller driving space, greater dependence on other drivers, and more difficulty driving due to vision difficulties. Persons with preclinical AD had fewer trips with any aggression and showed a greater decline across the 2.5-year follow-up period in the number of days driving per month and the number of trips between 1-5 miles. Conclusion: Changes in driving occur even during the preclinical stage of AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1633
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Automobile driving
  • Biomarkers
  • Motor vehicles


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