Does Donald Trump Have a Neurological Disease?

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post

It’s hard to write a piece like this without sounding a tad conspiratorial, but with his remarks today claiming that Andrew Jackson was very upset about the Civil War, and his kicking reporter John Dickerson out of the Oval Office, I can’t hold back my thoughts much longer: our President has some kind of neurological disease.

Now, keep in mind: I am not a doctor. I have studied the brain in high school and undergrad, but I am not a medical student, nor do I plan on being one. However, through the research I’ve done on this subject, I believe the President suffers from a disease known as Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a disease which goes after a person’s lobes and causes major neurological damage. The difference between it and Alzheimer’s (which took his father, Fred Trump) is that Alzheimer’s attacks the hippocampus first, causing the memory to go; FTD leaves the hippocampus largely intact, so a person’s memory is likely to be unaffected. It also does not attack solely based on age: some patients have been afflicted by it at 21, others at 80, but the median age range for FTD to strike is between 45 and 64.

There are four kinds of FTD, the first two of which account for much of Trump’s bizarre behavior, with an emphasis on the first:

Behavior variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) — This attacks the frontal lobe first and destroys a person’s inhibitors. They can generally keep track of what’s going on around them, but lack social skills.

Semantic Dementia (SD) — This attacks the left temporal lobe and Broca’s area, which determines the meanings of words. Patients with semantic dementia lack the ability to process what words are, and make substitutes, like “thingy,” or, if they can’t think of a word like “chicken,” they’ll refer to it as a “bird” and soon, use “bird” to mean any winged animal.

Progressive Non-Fluent Aphasia (PNA) — Accounting for 20% of FTD patients, this condition slows down speech production, leading its victims to speak with greater hesitance than before, ultimately developing symptoms overlapping with Parkinson’s.

FTD with motor neuron disease — It’s common for people with a degenerative disorder like ALS to develop symptoms overlapping with FTD, such as behavioral/cognitive difficulties.

Given what we know, let’s examine the symptoms of bvFTD and see how Trump exhibits them:

“People experiencing these changes may become self-centered, emotionally distant, withdrawn, unaware of the emotions of others, avoid social contact or neglect personal hobbies and interests.”

Trump being self-centered…well, that doesn’t need much of an explanation, does it? Also, he doesn’t show compassion towards anyone who might be suffering, has no hobbies other than golf, seems to spend no time with his wife, who still lives in New York, and when he does live in the White House, he spends his evenings alone.

“They may develop a lack of concern for their personal appearance and become increasingly unkempt early in the course of the disease.”

This is a man whose scotch-taped ties go below the belt, whose jackets are always too big for him, who can’t lay off the bronzer, and who has done to comb overs what Hitler did to the Charlie Chaplin mustache. Some successful people, like Einstein, dress the same way each day so as not to waste time thinking about it, but Trump’s inability to style himself properly displays a bigly lack of perception.

“Results show that patients with certain types of FTD eat significantly more carbohydrates and sugar than healthy controls or those with Alzheimer’s Disease, and that these changes don’t appear to be explained by being hungrier.”

According to Rogue White House Senior Adviser, Trump has gained upwards of 60 lbs. since getting into office, and this is one of the big reasons I’m convinced he has FTD rather than Alzheimer’s. Throughout the campaign, he was photographed eating taco bowls, KFC buckets and Big Macs, claiming he loved fast food “because you know what’s in it.” Now, he rhapsodizes over chocolate cake and has installed a button in the Oval Office to deliver him Coke whenever he wants it.

“Overeating is common and ‘food fads’ can occur where the person with bvFTD [behavioral FTD] will only eat certain foods.”

Well-done steaks with ketchup, anyone?

“These behaviors are often associated with a lack of inhibition, resulting in impulsive or inappropriate behavior, such as overeating, outbursts of frustration, touching strangers…or diminished social tact.”

Let’s see: refusal to shake Angela Merkel’s hand, yelling at the woman’s baby at the rally, leaving the room at the very mention of Michael Flynn’s name…in the last two years, when has he acted appropriately on camera? And what about that time when he said to Billy Bush…ah, hell, here’s the tape, proving that his FTD probably started a while back and has been worsening ever since.

“The person with bvFTD may experience false thoughts (or delusions) that are jealous, religious or bizarre in nature. Or they can develop a euphoria — excessive or inappropriate elation or exaggerated self-esteem.”

He still hands out maps of his electoral college “victory” to visitors, bragging about how big it was; claims that everything he does is the greatest thing ever (and, conversely, anything someone else does is a “disaster” or “the worst ever’), and believes that any idea he comes up with will automatically become law, like repealing Obamacare, or building a wall. Part of the reason he admires dictators and invites them to the White House is because he is jealous of their control over their people, and that distaste for democratic relations is part of his self-esteem, because he didn’t run for President, he ran for Dictator/God/King.

As for how his semantic dementia expresses itself, let’s examine something he said last year in an interview with Bob Woodward, who asked him about Abraham Lincoln:

“Well, I think Lincoln succeeded for numerous reasons. He was a man who was of great intelligence, which most presidents would be. But he was a man of great intelligence, but he was also a man who did something that was a very vital thing to do at that time. Ten years before or 20 years before, what he was doing would never have even been thought possible. So he did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time.”

It’s the use of vague substitute words that make the case for his linguistic disorder. The word “thing,” or its variation, “something,” comes up four times as he fails to articulate Lincoln’s accomplishments. He also repeats the phrase “he was a man” three times, and refers to what he “did” five times. You could argue this is just him buying for time because he doesn’t know the right answer, but I’d argue he’s further gone than that: making linguistic substitutions is something he’s done so long he doesn’t even know he’s doing it anymore.

This aspect of his disease has worsened over the last ten years. If you read this interview with him from thirteen years ago, he still speaks in salesman “best ever/worst ever’ language that is practically embedded into his genetic coding, but he does not sound nearly as unhinged as he does here. And a year’s gone by since the Lincoln interview, hence his sounding even worse now.

Assuming that Trump does have this disorder and aides could be “covering it up” isn’t unique among our Presidents. Three times in the 20th century, we have had presidents who suffered from disesases or ailments that had be hidden from the public: Woodrow Wilson after his stroke in 1919, FDR with his polio, and JFK with his Addison’s Disease (a likely fourth is Ronald Reagan, whose Alzheimer’s displayed itself throughout the latter half of his Presidency.) But in the first three cases, there were competent people running the show if/when things went wrong, and they had the best medical care one could have at that time. The stories behind Trump’s bizarre doctors’ note are legion, and theIsland of Misfit Toys who occupy the West Wing are so incompetent that they can’t even find the light switch. If something like this were confirmed, how could it not leak to the “failing” media?

For now, it is all speculation. But I would wager that it is more likely than not that Trump is suffering from something he’s not cognizant of, and will only find out about under pressure. Of course, there’s something he could use that would help him find out more, but he’s already promised to repeal it — Obamacare.