U.S. President Donald Trump is apparently is in good working order health-wise, according to the White House doctor, and – despite some questioning his mental stability – the president’s cognitive skills are perfect, the doctor says.
Trump’s physician, Navy doctor Ronny Jackson, administered a medical checkup on Jan. 12. The doctor also said he administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), at Trump’s request, and the president aced it.
“The president’s overall health is excellent,” Jackson said.
Developed in Montreal in 1996, it was designed to measure “mild cognitive dysfunction” according to the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery.
The MoCA test Trump took includes exercises to the likes of remembering a list of spoken words; listening to a list of random numbers and repeating them backward; naming as many words that begin with, say, the letter F as possible within a minute; accurately drawing a cube; and describing concrete ways that two objects – like a train and a bicycle – are alike.
According to administration and scoring instructions, the MoCA exam is a rapid screening test and assesses different cognitive functions like attention, concentration, language and conceptual thinking.
The test itself take about 10 minutes and the total possible score is 30 points. A score of 26 or above is considered normal. Trump scored a perfect 30, according to Jackson.
In general, patients with good or average memory forget one of the five words and can still be within the normal range, said Dr. James Mastrianni, an expert in memory disorders and other neurodegenerative conditions at the University of Chicago Medicine.
“It’s a screening assessment that we use routinely in the clinics to determine whether someone has some degree of cognitive impairment or not,” he said.
“If they score poorly on that assessment, then usually there is more detailed evaluation that follows. But if they score well that usually indicates there is pretty good cognitive function. They are essentially intact,” Mastrianni added.
The standard version of the test is “pretty good” but “not definitive” said Dr. Ronald Petersen, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Petersen said he could not comment specifically on the president’s cognitive health.
The test does not assess the president’s psychiatric fitness and the president did not undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to his doctor.
Here’s a MoCA sample test. Are your cognitive skills as good as Trump’s?
–Global News reporter Rebecca Joseph contributed to this report. With files from Reuters