Should Joe Biden take a dementia screening test?

UPDATE:

Yes, this article was removed by my editor; I have submitted it for publication elsewhere, and will share the link if it’s accepted (so thanks to those who have inquired).  The bottom line of the article was that Republicans are going after Biden for a wide variety of “gaffes” as possibly signaling dementia, but that Biden could remove this as an issue with a simple screening test.  My editor’s rationale for removing it was that this was outside my area of expertise and inappropriately politically-focused, and she has every right, as an editor, to make this call — so there’s no need to feel that I’ve been wronged or that Forbes is inappropriately favoring Biden.

15 thoughts on “Forbes post, “Does Joe Biden Have Dementia? Does It Matter?” – Update

  1. It’s actually pretty important to have a little knowledge about some stutterers’ speaking patterns before putting something like this out there. If his speech idiosyncrasies are cognitive in nature, it would show up in a physical. I’m not at this age yet but I and people I work with and respect who are in this age range are a little tired of so much ageism every time they are not precise or forgetful. When we reach certain ages it suddenly turns into dementia?

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    1. It is pretty pathetic that the democratic party is backing someone who is clearly unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the presidency. Biden has dementia, and the fact that the Democrats continue to back this guy is ridiculous. The only place he should go is to a nursing home.

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    2. I am a board-certified internist of 35 years practice, and Joe’s mistakes are not stutters. That term is a smokescreen typical of Democratic Party smokescreen’s. He is clearly demented, likely with Alzeheimer’s disease. Democrats should eventually stop lying and answer the question “Do you want a puppet president or do really think a demented person should be the Commander in Chief?” A smidgen of honesty from Democrats would be extremely uncharacteristic but very revealing

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    1. Yes, I knew that.

      Benefit-of-the-doubt, they considered it inappropriately politicized/out of my area of expertise. I also try to write this sort of piece ambiguously, in terms of what my personal point-of-view is, and I think here it didn’t work. (I like to say I’ve succeeded when people on each side of an issue equally think I oppose and/or support them.)

      I’ve submitted it for publication elsewhere and in the meantime, I’m not going to criticize my editor’s judgement call. (Though, annoyingly, based on the pageview counts before it was pulled, I could have had a tidy bit of income from that article. Oh, well . . . )

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  2. You realize of course that if you go to google and search then pick the down arrow and archive.. your story is still there. You’ll never get rid of it so it’s still very very much available.

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  3. It’s hilarious that they didn’t pull your article but covered it with “page not found” screen. The article can still be read if you Control-All, Copy it in time (I succeeded on the third try).

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  4. Hi Jane,

    I read your article, and I must say I thought it read fairly neutral and gave a good general summary of the issue. I particularly appreciated that you gave examples of the sort of tasks that are included in a typical cognition exam. I tried to come up with as many words that started with F as I could and was surprised by how hard I had to think about it; this is something someone with cognitive impairment would certainly have a more difficult time with.

    As for the current issue of Biden’s mental state, and the importance of fitness in our president in general, I think there is a disturbing double standard currently being set in the Democratic primary. How is it acceptable for the media and the electorate to loudly question Bernie Sanders’ fitness to hold office after his heart attack (which is very common and easily managed with modern medicine), yet it is utterly inappropriate and ageist to bring attention to the obvious mental decline of Joe Biden (which I would argue is indicative of progressing dementia, which is IRREVERSIBLE)?

    As a rising 3rd year medical student, I feel somewhat qualified to speak on Biden’s apparent cognitive health, as I have done on Twitter recently. While Biden may not yet meet all diagnostic criteria of dementia (which implies impairment to the point he is no longer independent), I believe he is gradually headed in that direction.

    He has already shown signs of impairment in key areas of cognition:
    1) Memory: in the past year, I have seen footage where Biden forgot Obama’s name, couldn’t remember if he was VP in the 1970s or in 2018 (both wrong), told false stories about marching in the Civil Rights Movement and getting arrested in South Africa, said he was in Vermont when he was in New Hampshire, that list goes on…
    2) Language: there is a LOT of footage now of Biden fumbling through public speaking, and that’s WITH a teleprompter. This could indicate impaired speech production, impaired reading ability, or a combination. People are trying to say this is merely Biden’s stutter, but you can easily find footage of Biden speaking with no similar issues only a few years ago, this is a NEW problem, and Joe himself said he no longer stutters.
    3) Personality/behavior changes: Joe Biden has been having quite a hard time managing his anger while speaking to voters who challenge his policies (read: lack thereof) and his record of racism+sexism. He also had that one moment where he bit his wife’s finger when she waved her arms talking to a crowd of voters (this is an example of inappropriate behavior known as hyper-orality).
    4) Visuospatial skills: there was also one instance where Biden confused his wife with his sister while speaking to a crowd, I believe after one of his primary “victories”. When his wife corrected Joe that she was in fact NOT his sister, he said “you switched on me!” This could have been a simple slip-up, a memory lapse, or a genuine instance of agnosia (impairment of recognition), who knows, but it was definitely eye-catching.

    So, do I think it matters if the next president has dementia? ABSOLUTELY. Combine that with the fact that Biden is also about as unpopular as Hillary Clinton was in 2016, I’d say Democrats are setting themselves up for a landslide victory for Trump if they try to force another neoliberal corporate-backed nominee down our throats. Personally, I am having none of it.

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    1. I could not have said that better! It’s ridiculous for him to be the democrat. But having said that, I don’t trust what the democrats are up to. They will pick a Vice President who will with the bureaucrats run our country. I’m a nurse and my husband has been diagnosed with early dymentia It’s different everyday. Some days it’s hard to tell he has it. As long as everything is the same he functions well. If left alone for over 2 hrs., he’s not always the same person you left. Democrats are using Biden. They are power crazy. It’s not fair to the American people for him to run. Shame on the other democratic candidates for backing him. They have no backbone.

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  5. Very well said by both the doc and the nurse. Biden is showing all the earmarks.. I have worked in assisted living as an activity director, and personally, dealt with a mother that suffered from Alzheimer’s. It’s such as a sad disease, and the saddest part, the person experiencing the disease has no ability to cope with the disease. Initially, they realize they are losing memory. Later, they go into denial, and often become defensive, or even combative. My mom was a R.N. (M.S.N.), to see her mind so radically decline was not only difficult, but it also became dangerous–the inability to reason is devastating.

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