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Mind & Brain

What cognitive abilities did Donald Trump’s mental assessment test for?

We break down the eight specific brain functions that were evaluated by the President’s recent cognitive assessment.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks before signing an executive order supporting veterans as they transition from military to civilian life. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has scored 30 out of 30 on a cognitive performance test designed to detect signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), a condition that represents a transitional stage between normal cognitive decline associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the test was administered during his annual physical at the Walter Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, by White House physician and Navy rear admiral Dr. Ronny L. Jackson.

The test measures eight distinct cognitive functions through a series of questions and activities. The questions in the test are grouped by the cognitive function they were designed to test. The duration of the exam is suppose to last approximately 10 minutes. 


Can you sequence numbers and letters, draw a cube and a clock with the correct time?


Can you identify these animals?


Can you repeat five words after hearing them once?


Are you paying attention? And can you subtract 7 from 100 repeatedly?


Do you have good words? How about “f” words specifically?


What do these things have in common? 


Do you still remember those five words? 


Do you know where you are in time and space? 

Cognitive decline is a natural consequence of aging, and Donald Trump is the oldest President in American history. In clinical trials, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment outperformed the Mini-Mental State Examination in its ability to detect risk factors for dementia and mild cognitive impairment. 


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