USA Today editorial questions President Trump's cognitive health

A USA Today editorial article questioned the president's cognitive health.

Psychologist John Gertner has written an op-ed where he takes a look at the signs that the president could be in the early stages of dementia. He says Trump is undergoing significant cognitive decline and must be tested for the illness.

What are those signs?

He points to speech disorders. Gertner says he is often rambling through speeches and interrupting one sentence midway and going to a completely different thought or topic. 

Is it possible to make this kind of early diagnosis just from television observation? 

"You certainly can have suspicions about things, but you definitely can't make a definite diagnosis," says Dr. Asim Shah from the psychiatry department at Baylor College of Medicine.

Since 500 million people are affected by dementia, there are ways to detect it early in family members and loved ones. The early signs can be more subtle and difficult to recognize at first, so vigilance is important. 

"They can have social isolation, can be a little suspicious, they may be substituting words or using them incorrectly, they get paranoid sometimes, they repeat things a lot, they cannot make executive decisions, and they are angry or irritable," says Dr. Shah. "These are the early warning signs."

Dr. Shah says that delusions, wandering, hallucinations, and inability to recognize loved ones doesn't come into play until the later stages of the illness.