In Brief

Trump health check: would you pass the Montreal cognitive test?

President aced ten-minute routine screening but how reliable is it?

Donald Trump’s doctor has announced that the US president received a perfect 30 out of 30 score on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a tool that screens patients for mental conditions including Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.

White House physician Ronny Jackson says he has “absolutely no concerns” about Trump’s cognitive ability, the brain-based skills needed to carry out both simple and complex tasks.

But what is the Montreal test, and is it conclusive?

Studies show that the test can be used to spot problems with the brain’s executive functioning “even before other signs of mental decline are apparent”, The Washington Post says.

Although the standard Montreal test is “pretty good”, it is “not definitive”, Dr Ronald Petersen, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Reuters

The Alzheimer’s Association says the disease is not detected through just one test but through a complete assessment that considers possible causes.

The 30-point Montreal test takes about ten minutes and requires patients to perform memory and other mental tasks, CNN says. Participants are asked, for example, to draw a line between a number and a letter in ascending order; to draw a clock and put numbers on it; and to remember a list of common words.

People with a good or average memory generally forget one of the five words and are still within the normal range, Dr James Mastrianni, an expert in neurodegenerative conditions, told Reuters. 

What the Montreal test does not do is assess psychiatric fitness - and Trump did not undergo a psychiatric evaluation, according to his doctor.

Recommended

Putin and Russia’s territorial ambitions
A large column of Russian military vehicles and troops move in the direction of the Crimean capital of Simferopol in February 2014
Getting to grips with . . .

Putin and Russia’s territorial ambitions

What to expect from the new Covid wave
Members of the public look at a wall of remembrance for Covid-19 victims
In Depth

What to expect from the new Covid wave

‘Cabinet angry at defending Johnson again’
Today’s newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Cabinet angry at defending Johnson again’

No. 10 tells Peter Andre: siestas wouldn’t work here
Peter Andre on stage
Tall Tales

No. 10 tells Peter Andre: siestas wouldn’t work here

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

What happened to Logan Mwangi?
Tributes left to Logan Mwangi
Today’s big question

What happened to Logan Mwangi?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

The Week Footer Banner