President Donald Trump made a reference in an interview yesterday about his “highest score” on his cognitive testing. He told Reuters that former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton failed to deal with North Korea and added “I guess they all realized they were going to have to leave it to a president that scored the highest on tests.” Trump is referring to the fact that he is the first president to agree to a cognitive test (which was a good idea and he received a perfect score). For many of us who are unfamiliar with the test, I looked into it. The test is elementary but it does have a high accuracy in detecting problems like dementia. However, for those not familiar with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), the test details are below.
The 30-point test asks people to identify drawings of a lion and a rhinoceros or draw a simple cube. The subject may also be asked to recall a handful of words or repeat a short list of numbers. This is not an intelligence or psychological test.
Nevertheless, the Cochrane Collaboration review found that the test detected 94 percent of people with dementia.
I actually do not see why all presidents should not have basic cognitive and psychological testing with their physical exams. This test does not offer much information beyond counter-indicating such things as dementia. However, even this is much more than what was available for prior presidents.