Brain Injury Specialist: Trump Should Be Tested For A Degenerative Brain Disease

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Ford Vox, MD, wrote in 2017 that President Trump shows signs of having mild cognitive impairment and should be assessed.

President Donald Trump appears to be suffering from mild cognitive impairment and should be evaluated by a medical professional, Dr. Ford Vox wrote in 2017.

Vox, who is the medical director of the Disorders of Consciousness Program at Shepherd Center and specializes in brain injury medicine, raised his concerns in an op-ed for Stat News, zeroing in on three primary categories of cognitive degeneration: “problems with language and executive function; problems with social cognition and behavior; and problems with memory, attention, and concentration.”

A return to Vox’s assessment is warranted, given that Trump is up for reelection in November and his readily apparent symptoms have only worsened in the time since Vox raised his concerns.

  • Vox first pointed to language and executive dysfunction evident in Trump’s behavior, noting that “the president’s speech patterns are increasingly repetitive, fragmented, devoid of content, and restricted in vocabulary.”
  • He wrote that “Trump’s overuse of superlatives like tremendous, fantastic, and incredible are not merely elements of personal style” but rather “reflect reduced verbal fluency.”
  • Vox noted that some of Trump’s “most concerning behaviors suggest a decline in social cognition: reduced insight and awareness into the thoughts and motivations of other people, coupled with symptoms like impulsivity and disinhibition that make him behave rudely and create needless controversy.”
  • Vox wrote that such episodes often happen due to impaired frontal lobe brain systems, which “typically provide some degree of restraint from saying the first thing that crosses your mind.”
  • He noted that “memory, attention, and concentration” also play a role:

Memory impairment is specifically implicated in episodes like forgetting to sign orders — not once, but twice — that were the purposes of the press events the president was attending. Attention and focus are key to forming memory; the lack of either makes it more likely to forget why one was in a room in the first place.

Vox suggested that the average person would be evaluated with standardized neuropsychological testing if they showed symptoms like the president’s, which he said were indicative of “mild cognitive impairment, also known as mild neurocognitive disorder or predementia.”

Mild cognitive impairment comes in various flavors as the precursor to a variety of different full-blown dementias. The key distinguishing characteristic between mild cognitive impairment and dementia is whether the decline is starting to interfere with essential daily functioning. In a billionaire typically surrounded by assistants, who is now the president surrounded by more assistants, whether Trump can perform his necessary daily tasks on his own may be difficult to assess.

Vox added that Trump’s observable symptoms “raise the concern for mild cognitive impairment preceding frontotemporal dementia, which is particularly heavy on the behavioral symptoms like those the president displays, as well as more typical Alzheimer’s dementia, or dementia with Lewy bodies.”

He also acknowledged that Trump very well may not be suffering from mild cognitive impairment, despite clearly behaving as though he does.

Vox concluded,

In either scenario, I do not think this is an individual who is fit to serve the office.

Read the full op-ed.


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