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Motor Vehicle Operation in the Setting of Multiple Sclerosis With Myelopathy: Assessment, Adaptive Equipment, Counseling, and Cessation of Driving

Niewoehner, Patricia M. BS, OTR/L, CDRS; Thomas, Florian P. MD, MA, PhD, FAAN

doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000403800.95364.3a
Practice Issues

ABSTRACT Many individuals with multiple sclerosis are safe drivers; others self-regulate their driving or cease driving altogether because of their own safety concerns. When patients are unsafe to drive and have poor insight into their condition, they may ignore a provider's repeated communication to stop driving. Addressing this issue when a person is initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and continuing the discussion over time when assessing other activities of daily living may ease the process of driving cessation. Referral for a driving evaluation may be appropriate, in conjunction with referrals to a social worker for mobility counseling and to a psychologist for grief and loss issues associated with driving cessation. When repeated recommendations to stop driving are ignored, notifying the appropriate government agencies should be considered.

Address correspondence to Dr Florian P. Thomas, VA Medical Center 128/JB, 1 Jefferson Barracks Drive, St. Louis, MO 63125-4181,

Relationship Disclosure: Ms Niewoehner reports no disclosure. Dr Thomas has received personal compensation for activities with Novartis and Teva Neuroscience.

Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: Ms Niewoehner and Dr Thomas report no disclosures.

© 2011 American Academy of Neurology
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