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Fox News psychiatrist wonders if Biden is suffering from dementia

By Kay Steiger
Sunday, October 14, 2012 18:46 EDT
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Dr. Keith Ablow (screenshot on Fox & Friends Sunday)
 
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On the Sunday edition of “Fox & Friends,” a member of Fox News Medical A-Team suggested that Vice President Joe Biden might be suffering from dementia based on his debate performance.

Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow came on to discuss the “science behind” the debate. “He could be completely doing this for stage presence,” Ablow said, then went on to offer a more controversial alternate explanation.

“I did not evaluate Joe Biden, but if someone said to me, we want you to do what’s really required. You have to put dementia on the differential diagnosis. You have to say bizarre laughter, interrupting. If this were your dad or your grandfather, wouldn’t you say if you brought him to me, Keith, tell me, is he suffering with dementia? Because he can’t seem to listen, he’s laughing inappropriately.”

“Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Alisyn Camerota did some interrupting of her own, saying, “Hold on a second, doctor, because that’s where that doesn’t ring true to me. His command of the details was so solid. People with dementia can’t remember the things that he — the substance that he was rattling off.”

“I’m not diagnosing him. I haven’t evaluated him, but psychological testing is anybody’s guess what it would be. Not knowing every fact isn’t required to diagnose dementia and I’m not saying he has it. I’m saying you put it on the differential. Impulsivity, that’s part of it, and command of the facts. He said we’d completely leave Afghanistan on a date when we’re going to leave troops there. And so, you’d want his alcohol level.”

“You’re not by any means suggesting he had a drink?” asked co-host Dave Briggs. “Because he’s never had a drink in his life.”

“What I’m saying from a physicianally perceptive [sic], scientifically, you call this the science of personality of interrupting, you put this on the differential diagnosis. You’d have to be just, you know, waiting for a malpractice case, one of you, if you brought me a parent or a grandparent, I’d say let’s to a PET scan, a CAT scan, an MRI and a psychological battery of tests to see if there’s an element of demential. You have to. How could you not?”

“You’d have to put that on the table,” Camerota said.

Ablow described a moment in the debate where Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan looked at Biden in confusion. “I had that moment, and I’m a doctor.

Watch the video, clipped by Media Matters on Oct. 14.

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
 
 
 
 
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