During last night's debate, when John McCain was asked to name his order of priority for addressing heath care, energy and entitlement reform, he requested a repeat of the question in a way that matches a worrisome cognitive test.
Tom Brokaw asked John McCain to name his order of priority for addressing the three items and in which order, Senator McCain asked Brokaw to repeat the question and then replied by saying he would address all of them but did not repeat the three items back in his response.
I lost someone close to Alzheimer's Disease. During the heartbreaking progression of his disease, I watched as they performed cognitive tests, telling him items in order and asking him to repeat them back. His hesitation, attempts to answer without answering and then delayed recollection to some part of the question was eerily similar to McCain's response (which was quite different from Obama's specific answers to the actual question in which he addressed all three priorities).
Coincidence? Perhaps. But if not, it raises the question that anyone who has lost someone to Alzheimer's would ask as we know the signs and progression of this horrible disease.
From The Medical Post, April 9, 1996:
Cognitive testing can predict with 90% accuracy which patients with memory problems will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD), researchers here report [...] cognitive tests had the best results. These were a delayed recall test, in which the person was taught new information and after a time delay, asked to recall it.McCain didn't have the extra burden of time delay and he was taking notes. Despite that, he did not repeat back nor did he address the specific three items about which Brokaw had asked after he asked Brokaw to repeat them to him. There was also McCain's disdainful "that one" against Obama instead of using Senator Obama's name, which could have been a slight, as has been presented and questioned in the media.
But what if McCain, at that moment, could not recall Senator Obama's name?
Let me be clear. I do NOT wish this diagnosis for Senator McCain. I use the term heartbreaking and Alzheimer's and all forms of dementia are just that and I sincerely hope he is not at effect of it. But we don't know because, as Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films has pointed out, Senator McCain hasn't released his full medical records:
Given Senator McCain's worrisome debate lapse, I would like to see them released, as well.