The Therapeutic Alliance Workshop, organised by the Athens Medical Society, at this year’s conference was aiming to highlight all modern reinforcement tools for patients and enhance their communication with physicians and other health professionals which can contribute decisively to a more secure and effective management of chronic diseases. The 5th Session of the Conference concerned Cognitive Impairments/Dementia: road and traffic safety issues of patients with the active contribution of NTUA.
NTUA presentations concerned:
The driving behaviour of patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia
The Society of Applied Neuroscience in cooperation with the Medical School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Department of Neurology of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, organised with great success the SAN2016 meeting, which was held in Corfu Island, Greece from 6-9 October 2016.
NTUA presentations concerned:
The driving simulator as a valid measure of driving behavior
Self-awareness of cognitive and driving abilities in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and healthy elderly
Incidental and intentional memory performance in depression and amnestic mild cognitive impairment
On the occasion of the World Day of Alzheimer Disease (21/09/2016), the Department of Mental Disorders / Dementia of the Second Neurological Clinic of the University Hospital “Attikon” organized with great success an informational event on the latest developments in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia diseases. The event includes speeches by professors of the Athens University Medical School and specialized health professionals who answered questions in relation to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and other topics related dementias.
Dr. Dimosthenis Pavlou made two presentations which concerned two critical questions:
Which are the latest developments about assessing driving behaviour of patients with Alzheimer’s disease?
Can we consider patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment as safe drivers?
Dimosthenis Pavlou has successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled: Traffic and safety behaviour of drivers with neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions. This PhD thesis was carried out at the Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens under the supervision of Prof. George Yannis. The impact of brain pathologies on reaction time, accident probability, driving errors, and driving performance was under investigation. The driving behaviour was examined in terms of both traffic and safety behaviour and the neurological diseases affecting cognitive functions concerned Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). A large-scale driving simulator experiment was carried out, comprising a medical/neurological and neuropsychological assessment of 225 drivers, and a set of driving tasks for different scenarios. An innovative statistical analysis methodology has been developed and implemented, based on Regression Models, Principal Component Analysis and Structural Equation Models.
A paper titled “Which are the effects of driver distraction and brain pathologies on reaction time and accident risk?” authored by Dimosthenis Pavlou, Panagiotis Papantoniou, Eleonora Papadimitriou, Sophia Vardaki, George Yannis, Costas Antoniou, John Golias and Sokratis G. Papageorgiou is now published in Advances in Transportation Studies an international Journal. A driving simulator experiment with 140 participants (out of which 109 were patients) was carried out by an interdisciplinary research team of neurologists, neuropsychologists and transportation engineers. The brain pathologies examined include early Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Mild Cognitive Impairment. A statistical analysis was carried out by means of mixed generalized linear modelling and the results indicated significant differences between the driving performance of healthy drivers and patients. Patients with cerebral diseases reacted significantly slower at unexpected incidents than the healthy ones and were more likely to be involved in an accident. The mobile phone use had a significant negative effect on both reaction time and accident probability.