Brain doctor: President Trump may be suffering from a ‘degenerative brain disorder’

For years -- perhaps even decades, Donald Trump has been known for being brash, outspoken and easily confrontational. Those traits have been criticized by some and applauded by many as part of his frank and no-nonsense approach to his career and life in the White House. 

But a doctor who specializes in brain injury medicine has suggested in a new article that those very behaviors could indicate that the president suffers from a “degenerative brain disorder" and that he should be tested. 

“I see worrisome symptoms that fall into three main categories: problems with language and executive function; problems with social cognition and behavior; and problems with memory, attention, and concentration,” Dr. Ford Vox wrote in a piece published by the medical news site STAT last week.

Vox names a series of specific examples from his time on the campaign trail and in office as signs of a bigger medical problem, including fragmented and repetitive speech patterns, the battles he engaged some Gold Star families in -- and even his regular claim that millions of illegal votes were cast for rival Hillary Clinton, which has not been substantiated by any reputable reporting. 

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Trump has lisp while making Jerusalem announcement
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Trump has lisp while making Jerusalem announcement
US President Donald Trump delivers a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence by his side, speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 6: President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence by his side, signs an executive order to declare formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a statement in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks alongside US Vice President Mike Pence (L) about the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, December 6, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump holds up a signed memorandum after he delivered a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- a historic decision that overturns decades of US policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East.'I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,' Trump said from the White House.'It's the right thing to do.' / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump delivers a statement on Jerusalem from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC on December 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump arrives to speak about the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, December 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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"I see worrisome symptoms that fall into three main categories: problems with language and executive function; problems with social cognition and behavior; and problems with memory, attention, and concentration," he writes. "None of these are symptoms of being a bad or mean person. Nor do they require spelunking into the depths of his psyche to understand. Instead, they raise concern for a neurocognitive disease process in the same sense that wheezing raises the alarm for asthma."

"It’s time to discuss these issues in a clinical context…even if the president has a physical exam early next year and releases the records, as announced by the White House, what he really needs is thorough cognitive testing,” he continues.

He also acknowledges that the evidence provided is not sufficient for a diagnosis, which is why he advocates testing. 

SEE MORE: White House announces physical exam for Trump after slurred speech

"It’s entirely possible that the president does not have predementia or is not progressing toward dementia. But he is definitely behaving as such," he adds. 

Vox joins a small, but growing chorus of medical experts who have spoke out about the president's behavior in clinical terms. 

Psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee has written two editorials on the matter in the past weeks, one for NBC and another in The New York Times, stressing the need for medical testing in both instances. 

“Trump has already exceeded our usual threshold for evaluation," Lee claimed in his piece for NBC

If reports are accurate, the behaviors may not not gone unnoticed inside the White House either. 

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Donald and Melania Trump through the years
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Donald and Melania Trump through the years
Real estate magnate Donald Trump (L) and his girlfriend Melania Knauss leave Hollinger International's annual meeting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on May 22, 2003. Hollinger publishes The Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London, the Jerusalem Post and other newspapers. REUTERS/Peter Morgan PM/ME
Donald Trump and his girlfriend Melania Knauss arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood, California, February 29, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller REUTERS EM/AS
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his friend Melania Knauss pose for photographers as they arrive at the New York premiere of Star Wars Episode I: "The Phantom Menace," May 16. JC/SV/AA
From left, Billy Crystal, host of the 76th annual Academy Awards, his wife Janice Goldfinger, Melania Knauss and her boyfriend Donald Trump, pose together as they leave the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood, California, early March 1, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller EM
Developer Donald Trump (R) and his girlfriend Melania Knauss pose for photographers after the final show of "The Apprentice" April 15, 2004 in New York. Bill Rancic, a 32-year-old Internet entrepreneur from Chicago, edged out Kwame Jackson, a 29-year-old New Yorker and Harvard MBA, for the Trump-described "dream job of a lifetime" and its $250,000 salary. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen JC
Donald Trump's new bride, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, waves as they leave the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church after their wedding in Palm Beach, Florida, January 22, 2005. REUTERS/Gary I Rothstein
Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs (R) accepts an award from the Rush Philanthropic Foundation for his efforts to support public education and dedication to youth and social activism, from Donald Trump and his wife Melania (L) at Trump's Trumps Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida on March 11, 2005. REUTERS/Jason Arnold MS
Donald Trump and his wife Melania Kanauss watch the Miami Heat play the New York Knicks in the first quarter of their NBA game in New York's Madison Square Garden, March 15, 2005. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS
Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania arrive at the Museum of Modern Art for a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in New York November 1, 2005. The Royals are on the first day of an eight-day visit to the U.S. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Donald Trump arrives with wife Melania at a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, November 1, 2005. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania (R) arrive at the Museum of Modern Art for a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in New York, November 1, 2005. The royals are on the first day of an eight-day visit to the U.S. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his wife Melania attend a Miami Heat against the Los Angeles Lakers NBA game on Christmas Day in Miami, Florida, December 25, 2005. REUTERS/Marc Serota
Donald Trump stands next to his wife Melania and their son Barron before he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles January 16, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello (UNITED STATES)
Real estate magnate and television personality Donald Trump and his wife Melania stand on the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of the exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" in New York May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT FASHION BUSINESS)
Businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump and his wife Melania watch Rafael Nadal of Spain play against Tommy Robredo during their men's quarter-final match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS ENTERTAINMENT REAL ESTATE BUSINESS)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd from L) watches with his wife Melania as Serena Williams of the U.S. plays against her sister and compatriot Venus Williams in their quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania as he speaks at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as his wife Melania listens at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to an answer his wife Melania gives during an interview on NBC's 'Today' show in New York, U.S. April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Melania Trump gestures at her husband Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump as they leave the stage, after she concluded her remarks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Melania Trump appears on stage after U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets his wife Melania onstage after the conclusion of his first debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
(L-R) Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump attend an official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington U.S., October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cuts the ribbon at his new Trump International hotel in Washington, DC, U.S., October 26 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania Trump at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina Florida, U.S. November 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican U.S. President-elect Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend the Liberty Ball in honor of his inauguration in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet a marching band as they arrive at Trump International Golf club to watch the Super Bowl LI between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump hugs his wife Melania during a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up H.R. 321 as his daughter Ivanka Trump (C) and U.S. first lady Melania Trump (2nd R) watch after it was signed in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC, U.S. February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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Most recently, Trump's "Art of the Deal" co-author Tony Schwartz said during an interview on MSNBC that a number of White House officials have expressed concerns about Trump’s “mental health."

“I know that two different people from the White House ― or at least saying that they were from the White House and that turned out to be a White House number ― have called somebody I know in the last several weeks to say, ‘We are deeply concerned about his mental health,'" he said.

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