Psychologist John Gartner has written an op-ed for USA Today in which he breaks down the signs that President Donald Trump is undergoing significant cognitive decline and must be tested for dementia.
In his essay, Gartner says that he’s been alarmed for several months about Trump’s mental condition, and he said that his concerns have only grown while following the continued decay of the president’s speech patterns.
“In Alzheimer’s, as language skills deteriorate, we see two types of tell-tale speech disorders, or paraphasias,” he writes. “Semantic paraphasia involves choosing the incorrect words… Phonemic paraphasia, which is linked to the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer’s, is described as ‘the substitution of a word with a nonword that preserves at least half of the segments and/or number of syllables of the intended word.'”
As examples of these disorders, Gartner recalls the president demanding to know the “oranges” of the Mueller probe, as well as references to “midtowm” and “midturn” elections.
While these slip-ups could be excused as harmless gaffes, Gartner says they’re only one sign that Trump’s mental faculties are failing.
“Trump’s speech patterns appear even more disordered when you go beyond the sound bite and look at a whole speech. He careens from one thought to the next in a parade of non sequiturs, frequently interrupting himself in the middle of a sentence to veer into another free association,” he writes. “When commentators described his two-hour speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month as ‘unhinged,’ they were referring in large part to this quality.”