A brain specialist and medical journalist has called for U.S. President Donald Trump to be examined for a degenerative disorder. The physician asserted that his social behavior and speech patterns resembled early signs of dementia.
On Dec. 6, the president slurred several words when he announced from the White House that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. After the president mispronounced words such as "United States," social media heavily speculated about whether or not he was having a mental health issue or a case of slipping dentures, Fox News reports.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Donald Trump would be examined by the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in early 2018 and that the records would be publicly released, a presidential custom. Sanders also dismissed questions over his slurred speech.
"The president's throat was dry -- nothing more than that," the press secretary said.
On Dec. 7, Atlanta physician Ford Vox of Atlanta, who specializes in brain injury medicine, asserted that Donald Trump's public behavior provided reason enough for him to be examined for a degenerative brain disorder.
"In turning my attention to the president, 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," Vox wrote in an editorial for STAT.
Vox asserted that Donald Trump's speech patterns had become repetitive and fragmented, singling out his lengthy interviews with media outlets.
"Trump's overuse of superlatives like tremendous, fantastic, and incredible are not merely elements of personal style," Vox wrote. "These filler words reflect reduced verbal fluency. ... The problem becomes especially apparent in the transcript format, where his thinking is no longer camouflaged by visual accompaniments to communication like facial expressions and gesticulations."
Vox cited the president's controversial tweets and public feuds as evidence of "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."
The physician asserted that the president's public statements and decision making showed a lack of impulse control.
"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," Vox wrote.
Vox stated that Donald Trump's behavior resembled symptoms of predementia and suggested that an independent panel examine him to find an accurate diagnosis.
"It’s entirely possible that the president does not have predementia or is not progressing toward dementia," Vox concluded. "But he is definitely behaving as such."
Donald Trump's mental health has been frequently questioned by some of his most vocal critics. On Nov. 30, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough alleged that acquaintances of the president told him that he had a degenerative disorder.
"People close to him during the campaign told me had early stages of dementia," Scarborough said on his program, "Morning Joe."