Election 2024

Donald Trump is “fearful of Alzheimer’s” since his father had it too

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Photo: Shutterstock

Mary Trump, the clinical psychologist and lesbian niece of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, discussed her uncle’s risk for dementia due to his family history, as well as how he had “no patience” for his own father’s cognitive decline in the 1990s.

Fred Trump Sr., Donald Trump’s father, started showing signs of the disease in the late 1980s and was formally diagnosed with senile dementia in 1991. In the mid-1990s, the entire family met with Fred Trump Sr., where he didn’t recognize two of his own children and even appeared to ask his son, Donald Trump, for permission to buy a car.

“Donald just walked away, like, ‘Oh, God, get him away from me. He’s so annoying,’” Mary Trump told the Washington Post. “He had no patience, none whatsoever.”

“Turning 50 does make you think about mortality, or immortality, or whatever,” Donald Trump told Playboy in a 1997 interview. “It does hit you.”

Associates of Donald Trump say that he grew more and more afraid that he, too, could suffer from dementia one day because of his family history.

“Donald is no doubt fearful of Alzheimer’s,” an unnamed Trump Organization executive said. “He’s not going to talk about and not going to admit to it. But it’s relevant because every day he is hitting Biden with whether or not he is capable mentally of doing the job.”

Donald Trump claims that he took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment — a test for signs of cognitive decline — twice, but the only time for which there are publicly available details is when he took it in 2018. He famously discussed taking the test with the media, repeating over and over how he was able to remember the words “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.” Related words, like “man” and “woman,” aren’t used in the sequence on that test.

That test was administered by then-White House physician and current Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who drank so much while working at the White House that the U.S. Navy demoted him even though he had already retired from military service.

Donald Trump has lied about the test to the media, claiming that he got “extra credit” for some of his answers (it’s not that kind of test) and that it included the question “Multiply 3,293 times four, divide by three.” The test is for basic cognition, not complicated arithmetic.

“That’s not on the test,” Jackson, a Trump ally, admitted about the math question. “He was making a joke about how difficult it was.”

The test, though, is not difficult for someone who is not suffering from dementia. The average score for a 71-year-old – the age when Donald Trump took it – is 27 out of 30.

But even if he passed the test in 2018, the creator of the test – neurologist Ziad Nasreddine – said that it isn’t valid after six years and that someone at Donald Trump’s age should be tested every eighteen months to two years.

“I don’t think we can state a test six years ago is valid today,” he said. “There’s higher risk as you get older, and it could turn into getting worse.”

Donald Trump is also at a higher risk due to his family history. Alzheimer’s disease is partly genetic, with 40% to 65% of people diagnosed with it carrying one specific gene.

“Trump does face an elevated familial risk of late onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as this was a major contributor to his father’s death,” the authors of a 2020 medical journal article wrote.

Mary Trump noted that her uncle has said he is a “super genius” because of his “great genes,” so it’s not surprising that people are raising questions about Donald Trump’s possible cognitive decline.

“If intelligence is a genetically inherited state, then something like dementia, Alzheimer’s, which do have very strong genetic components, is more of a concern to somebody who is directly related to Fred Trump Sr. as Donald is,” she said. “I’m not saying he has dementia, but you can’t say the one thing and not also acknowledge the other.”

Donald Trump has made “mental acuity” a central campaign issue as he and other Republicans have attacked President Joe Biden for often stumbling in his speech (he has a lifelong stutter), but Trump has been making more and more gaffes on the campaign trail and increasingly sounding incoherent. Donald Trump mixed up his GOP primary rival Nikki Haley with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and has said that Barack Obama is the current president on the campaign trail.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Here’s the surprising reason a gay Republican supports a law supporting LGBTQ+ businesses

Previous article

One mom carried & the other breastfed: How IVF & induced lactation made it all possible

Next article