News of Trump passing cognitive test may make it harder to detect dementia

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Enlarge / US President Donald Trump answers questions about the 2016 US election during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. (credit: Getty | Chris McGrath)

News reports in January that President Donald Trump passed a widely used test that screens for mild cognitive impairment flung the little-known clinical tool into public focus. Google searches for the test—the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)—spiked as dozens of media reports shared parts or all of the test and political commentators batted it around.

The president’s supporters proudly played up the test, boasting of Trump’s perfect 30-out-of-30 score and using it to laugh down those who questioned Trump’s mental state. Others snickered over the test’s seemingly straightforward components, such as asking test takers to correctly draw times on a clock and identify animals.

But the laugh may be on all of us, according to a research letter published Monday, July 16 in JAMA Neurology.

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#cognitive decline
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#trump