A Georgia brain specialist wrote an extensive analysis in Stat News suggesting that President Donald Trump has all the early signs of a degenerative brain disease.
Dr. Ford Vox, a brain specialist at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, pointed to Trump slurring his words during a statement last week as a sign “that could indicate a degenerative brain disorder.”
“As the president’s demeanor and unusual decisions raise the potential for military conflict in two regions of the world, the questions surrounding his mental competence have become urgent and demand investigation,” Vox wrote.
Vox said that many have pointed to Trump’s psychology to explain his unusual behavior, but suggested his actions may have more to do with the president’s neurology.
“I see worrisome symptoms that fall into three main categories: problems with language and executive function; problems with social cognition and behavior; and problems with memory, attention, and concentration,” he wrote.
“Language is closely tied with cognition, and the president’s speech patterns are increasingly repetitive, fragmented, devoid of content, and restricted in vocabulary,” he explained. “Trump’s overuse of superlatives like tremendous, fantastic, and incredible are not merely elements of personal style. These filler words reflect reduced verbal fluency.”
“Some of the president’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,” he continued, pointing to Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey as an example of an “impulsive decision that was greatly damaging to the president himself.”
“Rashly threatening Comey with a recording he did not have is reflective of poor emotional control,” he added.
He also highlighted Trump’s tweets as signs of “poor impulse control” and an “inability to control himself.”
Other examples include him giving away classified intelligence to the Russians, calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” at an event honoring Navajo code talkers, and starting a feud with a Gold Star widow.
“Episodes like these often occur because of impaired frontal lobe brain systems,” Vox explained. “These typically provide some degree of restraint from saying the first thing that crosses your mind. In a healthy brain, these ideas must make their way through multiple layers of checks and balances that take into account the social propriety and appropriateness of the audience for a given remark. Such frontal impairment often does not stop at troublesome communication, but has physical manifestations such as childlike facial expressions and physical restlessness, both features we see in Trump.”
Vox also noted Trump’s problems with memory and attention, pointing to him forgetting to sign executive orders at ceremonies for said executive orders.
“The persistence of fixed beliefs about the crowd size at his inauguration, President Obama having a fraudulent birth certificate, or millions of undocumented people voting for Hillary Clinton suggest either a shocking willingness to lie, which falls into the behavioral dysregulation category, or a memory disorder that hobbles the president with fixed delusions that cannot be swayed by contradictory information,” Vox pointed out.
Vox called for Trump to undergo neuropsychological testing.
“If I were to make a differential diagnosis based on what I have observed, it would include mild cognitive impairment, also known as mild neurocognitive disorder or predementia,” he wrote. “About 16 percent of people the president’s age fall into this category.”
But, he adds, the “uniqueness of the megalomaniacal media personality that Trump has built himself into, followed by the presidency and its attendant cadre of fawning assistants, have most likely prevented him from getting proper assessment.”
“The president is sick. That’s the impression shared by a growing number of Americans — including me, as both a citizen and as a physician,” he concluded. “I do not think this is an individual who is fit to serve the office.”