The doctor who created the cognitive test President Donald Trump took explained that some parts are “somewhat hard” and even “challenging” for most people.
Appearing on CNN’s “Out Front with Erin Burnett” on Thursday, Dr. Ziad Nasreddine told anchor Erin Burnett that a 30 out of 30 score – which Trump claimed to have attained – on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment is something only “10% of normal individuals get.”
“The White House has not released these details, but the president said he aced your test and keeps talking about it like it’s an IQ exam,” Burnett told Nasreddine after showing a clip of Trump touting his latest results. “Help us understand what is on the test.”
“Yes, Erin, this test is meant to assess cognitive functions, meaning that we are assessing which cognitive domains could be affected in neurological illnesses,” Nasreddine responded. “So we usually look at memory, at the concentration, attention, executive functions, perception. So all these skills are assessed to determine if somebody’s cognition is okay.”
The test creator explained that the test, developed over many years, is typically performed “to pick up subtle cognitive deficits that are early signs, for example, of Alzheimer’s.”
“So it is meant to be hard for patients who have a cognitive disorder,” he said. “It could be somewhat hard for somebody who is normal, especially certain questions are harder than others. Especially the five-word recall. Most patients do not get the five words. Most normal people don’t get the five words after five or ten minutes [of] delay. Most of them get 3.7 words. So it’s not that easy to go through the whole testing.”
Nasreddine called the five-words question in particular “challenging.” (RELATED: Former White House Physician Ronny Jackson Says Biden ‘Might Need’ Cognitive Testing)
“Some people get only two out of five, three out of five,” he concluded. “It’s not everyone can get five out of five or 30 out of 30 like I mentioned before. Only 10% of normal individuals get 30 out of 30.”