Meeting Coverage / AAIC

Driving Patterns Pinpoint Early Alzheimer's Disease

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Subtle shifts in on-road behavior suggest GPS-based biomarkers may have merit
Driving behavior captured with a global positioning system (GPS) device discerned whether cognitively normal older drivers had preclinical Alzheimer's disease, an early stage when Alzheimer's pathology has developed but cognitive changes aren't apparent.

Models to identify preclinical Alzheimer's with GPS data had an F1 score of 82% using driving indicators alone; 88% using age and driving; and 91% using age, APOE4 genotype, and driving, reported Sayeh Bayat, a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto, who presented the findings at the 2021 Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held virtually and in Denver.

The model that included age, APOE4 genotype, and driving indicators had an area under the receiver operating curve of 0.96. APOE4 status and age were the two most important features for predicting preclinical Alzheimer's disease. The most important driving feature was vehicle jerk, a measure of driving smoothness.

"We found that using machine learning methods, we can identify very subtle patterns in driving that are associated with preclinical Alzheimer's disease," Bayat told MedPage Today. "When developed to its full potential, a GPS driving biomarker can be a more affordable and scalable alternative to available procedures and methods."

"As opposed to providing an assessment of the patient's status at a given point in time, this biomarker can provide means for continuous monitoring of complex everyday activities and can help identify the…
Judy George
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