September 30, 2022

Physician that created cognitive test touted by Trump explains significance of high score

Democrats are doing everything they can to deflect criticism of Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities onto President Trump, but it’s not working.

President Trump recently revealed that he took — and aced — a cognitive health test to “shut these people up.” The physician that created the cognitive test revealed during a CNN interview on Thursday that the test is “challenging” for most people, indicating that Trump’s cognitive health is in good shape. 

The White House has yet to release the official results of the test, but Trump said during a speech earlier this week that he had gotten “30 for 30,” referring to the number of questions on the test.

Trump’s announcement that he had aced the challenging test provoked widespread mockery, but Dr. Ziad Nasreddine, who created the Montreal Cognitive Assessment explained in the CNN interview that the test is designed to be difficult.

Dr. Nasreddine told CNN’s Erin Burnett:

This test is meant to assess cognitive functions, meaning that we are assessing which cognitive domains could be affected in neurological illnesses. So we usually look at memory, at the concentration, attention, executive functions, perception. So all these skills are assessed to determine if somebody’s cognition is okay.

The physician continued to explain that the test is specifically designed “to pick up subtle cognitive deficits that are early signs, for example, of Alzheimer’s.” He continued:

So it is meant to be hard for patients who have a cognitive disorder. It could be somewhat hard for somebody who is normal, especially certain questions are harder than others. Especially the five-word recall. Most patients do not get the five words. Most normal people don’t get the five words after five or ten minutes [of] delay. Most of them get 3.7 words. So it’s not that easy to go through the whole testing.

President Trump was attacked for his characterization of the five-word recall. “The first questions are very easy,” Trump explained. “The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question.” But Nasreddine appeared to agree with Trump that it’s “challenging,” and that “Some people get only two out of five, three out of five.

“It’s not everyone can get five out of five or 30 out of 30 like I mentioned before,” Nasreddine said of Trump’s reported score. “Only 10% of normal individuals get 30 out of 30.”

Trump challenged Democrat opponent Joe Biden to undergo the same test, saying that the presidency is a “very important job” and that any president needs “stamina, physical health, and mental health.”


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