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Donnerstag, 31. August 2023

Mitch McConnell has temporal lobe epilepsy

During press conferences Mitch McConnell now had the second episode where he froze for half a minute, staring into the void and making some slow lip movements. 

Mitch McConnell is non-responsive in his dreamy state

A video of the episode is here: Mitch McConnell appears to freeze while speaking with reporters in Kentucky | CNN Politics

We are informed that he recently did a fall with "cerebral concussion" but it seems he has now been "cleared" by the medical establishment. 

In fact what the video shows is a typical attack of temporal lobe epilepsy (also called limbic epilepsy) with freezing, unresponsiveness, eyes turning to the right and slow lip movements, all followed by a somewhat sluggish reorientation. Hughlings Jackson, the 19th century physician who gave an early  description spoke of "dreamy states". Eye movement to the right could mean that the epileptogenic focus is in the left half of the brain. 

Of course other causes have to be excluded by brain MRI but the most probable cause here is brain injury caused be the recent fall. In this case Mr.McConnell must have suffered more than a mere "concussion". And there is no way that this could be caused by "lightheadedness", by low blood pressure, low blood sugar or by transient ischemic attacks. A student missing the diagnosis on this video would not pass his examination. 

These attacks can often be suppressed by simple medication, which however has some cognitive side effects. Once again the question arises how long the world should be ruled by octagenarians nearing their grave (I spent a life as neurologist and saw dozens of such cases, I am now 82).