Credentials Display

Alexander M. Crizzle, PhD, MPH; Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA; Christina LaFranca, B.Sc; William Silver, B.Sc; Stephan Eisenschenk, MD


Background: Prior studies examining driving performance have not examined the effects of antiepileptic drugs (AED’s) or their dosages in persons with epilepsy. AED’s are the primary form of treatment to control seizures, but they are shown to affect cognition, attention, and vision, all which may impair driving. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of high and low AED dosages on simulated driving performance in persons with seizures.

Method: Patients (N = 11; mean age 42.1 ± 6.3; 55% female; 100% Caucasian) were recruited from the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and had their driving assessed on a simulator.

Results: No differences emerged in total or specific types of driving errors between high and low AED dosages. However, high AED drug dosage was significantly associated with errors of lane maintenance (r = .67, p < .05) and gap acceptance (r = .66, p < .05). The findings suggest that higher AED dosages may adversely affect driving performance, irrespective of having a diagnosis of epilepsy, conversion disorder, or other medical conditions.

Conclusion: Future studies with larger samples are required to examine whether AED dosage or seizure focus alone can impair driving performance in persons with and without seizures.