Impact of Cholinesterase Inhibitors on Driving Ability in Healthy Older Adults

2014-08-27 03:38:12 | BioPortfolio


The goal of the study is to assess the role of cholinesterase inhibitors in affecting the driving ability of cognitively intact seniors using driving simulators. We hypothesize that the use of a cholinesterase inhibitor for two weeks will be associated with improvement in safe driving behavior on a simulated driving task.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, and while it is known that AD poses substantial risks of motor vehicle collisions, many people in the earliest stages of AD continue to drive. Memory problems themselves are poor predictors of who is actually unsafe on the road, and various medications that are used to treat people with AD may impact on their driving abilities. Donepezil is a drug used to treat the memory problems associated with AD. While previous studies have shown that it slows the decline of activities of daily living (eg. shopping, banking, dressing) and may improve the ability of younger pilots to perform on computerized flight simulators, no studies have examined the impact of donepezil on driving abilities in older adults.

The present investigation is a pilot study aiming to determine if donepezil helps healthy older drivers perform on driving simulators. Two Canadian academic centers have different driving simulators - one in Toronto and one in Thunder Bay. At each of these centers, ten healthy men aged 65 to 75 will be randomly assigned to receive either donepezil 5mg/day or identical placebo for two weeks.

Using the driving simulator, we will assess various aspects of driving ability. These measures of driving performance will be compared between those who received the drug and those who received the placebo.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Supportive Care


Mental Health


donepezil, Placebo (cornstarch)


Lakehead University
Thunder Bay
P7B 5E1




Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:38:12-0400

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