Hey kids! It’s easy to be a neurologist – it’s not brain surgery! Just ask Sean Hannity of Fox News. He (and various other right-wing wackos with similar neurological credentials) have taken a few scraps and magically concluded that Hillary Clinton has ……Parkinson’s Disease! Sean has a revolutionary new training program that should take care of any neurologist shortage – he skips all those tedious years of medical school and just pretends he knows what he is talking about.
One commentator on the right wing wacko medical team blithely says: “Hillary’s health is declining, as anyone who has looked at her can see.” Boy, this medical stuff is easy – skip all that lab work and patient histories — all you have to do is look at someone! By the way, I should look so good as Hillary at 69, after a year of 12-hr days campaigning.
—Trip and fall – Emergency rooms, take heart! Those trip and fall incidents should start to markedly decline! Hillary has fallen a few times – wow, an obvious sign of PD. There certainly can’t be any other reason someone might fall – like, say, a slippery staircase. Following Hannity’s logic, if falling is a symptom of PD, that must mean only Parkis trip and fall – so watch those ER visits decline. The right-wing wacko medical team found an especially telling medical clue was that not one but two aides helped Mrs. Clinton back up! (Gee, what would you do if your boss fell right in front of you?)
—Head bobbing – Hannity calls this a “seizure”, a previously unknown symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. If you look at the tape, to me it just looks like she’s exasperated (and exhausted) at the reporters’ questions. It’s certainly not dystonia (think awkward, uncontrollable body movements like when you watch Michael J. Fox.) Dystonia can be a symptom of PD, or a side effect of drugs taken for PD or be present in someone without PD. The key word is “uncontrollable” – it’s not a one-time event.
—Right hand – Imagine you are working the crowd at a campaign: one hand holds the mike, the other hand gestures — right? Our sharp-eyed right wing wacko medical team notes Hillary Clinton “demonstrates classic PD hand posturing…. she starts gesturing with her right hand, which is in a very unnatural position that is common in PD.” Nice try. Parkis can have rigid, unnatural body positions, (I should know, it was a telling part of my PD diagnosis.) However, the unnatural position classically occurs with your arm, not your hand, and it occurs when you are walking/running, not standing and making a speech. And on its own, a rigid movement is not sufficient to make a PD diagnosis. Like tremors, there are other reasons for rigid movements (maybe Hillary flunked ballet class), and not everyone with PD has these symptoms. (Oh, and by the way, I looked at the tape –18:02 — and nothing looks unnatural to me.)
—Coughing — The same jr. neurologist says ”Numerous [Clinton campaign] events have been interrupted by prolonged episodes of coughing unrelated to any infectious cause.” Not sure how this guy knows the coughing is “unrelated to any infectious cause” – more easy medical diagnosis just by looking — no patient history required! Coughing can be a symptom of many things – like … hmmm….12-hour days spent campaigning. I have never heard of it being a symptom of Parkinsons – but hey, I haven’t taken the Sean Hannity neurology training course yet.
As CNN host Brian Stelter said: “Let me be clear. That [video] was reckless speculation by Sean Hannity. All of it. Hannity is not interested in the truth about Clinton’s health. Conspiracy theories are so much more interesting than the truth. But the last time I checked, Fox still has the word ‘news’ in its name.”
My thanks to fellow blogger Bruce Ballard for bringing this subject to my attention in his excellent blog, Parking Suns.