Hillary Clinton is nearly 70 years old, which for a presidential nominee is not necessarily old. However, the difference between her, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and even John McCain is that Clinton has had significant medical problems which affect her brain and call her performance capacity into real question.
While presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt remained wheel chair bound and John F. Kennedy suffered from back pain due to Addison's disease, both were physical ailments which limited mobility rather than mental capacity.
Clinton runs the risk of being the first president with a traumatic brain injury that could be affecting her judgement. But we have no way of knowing for sure, because she has refused to release all of her medical records.
On Fox News' Hannity the Fox News Medical Team analyzed Clinton's medical history as is publicly known, identifying three major "falls"; in 2009, 2011, and in 2012 in which Clinton suffered a severe concussion and blood clot in her brain which Bill Clinton claims took six months to recover from.
Dr. Marc Siegel, who has looked over nearly 10 years of medical records for McCain, noted, "I think the public has a right to know. We're talking in 2008, Sean, I looked over a thousand pages of John McCain's records because of a melanoma he had 10 years ago. What about Hillary? In 2009, a severe fall. She breaks her elbow. In 2011, she boards a plane, falls. In 2012 she has a severe concussion which Bill Clinton says took her six months to recover from. Then she ends up with a blood-clot in the brain and a lifetime of blood thinners. Just that point alone -- if she's prone to falling, you can see from that picture up there that it looked like she can barely get upstairs without two people carrying her. Guess what if she falls and hits her head? She'll get a blood-clot. I want to know what her neurological records show."
Seigel added, "I think a traumatic brain injury with symptoms down the road is very, very likely here especially since she had a blood-clot on her brain. As [Dr. David Samadi] mentioned that could lead to a seizure problem. [A member of the Clinton campaign] is carrying a [diazepam] pen that you'd use in case of a seizure, a Valium pen, that makes me wonder about that."
But without a full health record it becomes nearly impossible to determine her mental competence in dealing with the job of the presidency, as the possibility for traumatic brain injury is high. A traumatic brain injury, or a TBI, is reported to run the risk of long term mental health deterioration and making day to day activities increasingly difficult, potentially making key national security and presidential decisions impossible for Clinton to handle clearly if she is impaired.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 40 percent of TBIs are caused by falls similar to the ones Clinton has suffered from and risk is highest after the age of 65.
The most troubling part is the symptoms most associated with the disease, including difficulty thinking clearly, slowed feelings, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty remembering new information. Clinton has not yet dealt with strict, quick decision making and highly classified information post extreme medical injury.
While Clinton remains against delivering medical issues, physical symptoms have crept up.
After a Reuters image surfaced of Clinton unable to climb stairs after a rally, her physical state was called into question, with dizziness, balance problems and lack of energy all relating to a TBI.
Similarly, after taking a bathroom break during a debate, John Cardillo who previously worked as an officer providing VIP security details for New York Police Department explained to Breitbart in January what members of Clinton's direct security teams have told him.
"Strong source just told me something I suspected," Cardillo said. "Hillary's debate 'bathroom break' wasn't that, but flare up of problems from brain injury. These are good friends. Both of them told me the same thing, that after her speeches, whether she did a talk or a policy speech, she had to sit behind — she would come off the podium backstage — and have to sit and rest before making it back to the car because she was so fatigued, dizzy and disoriented."
Dizziness, fatigue and disorientation, all common side effects of a TBI according to the CDC.
However, just as Kennedy fought back pain silently this is not to say Clinton's pain alone will prevent her from performing her duties, it is the disorientation and memory effects of a TBI which cause the most direct impact on her ability to make decisions for the nation.
After Clinton recently admitted her inconsistency in statement to the FBI and the public about her email scandal, she claimed that she "may have short circuited and for that, I, you know, will try to clarify." A short circuit as it appears Clinton would describe it, or a lapse in judgment, memory, and cohesion, can again all be serious signs of a TBI.
In response to this, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning made a simple request to Clinton, "to allay any concerns about her fitness to perform the duties of the presidency, Hillary Clinton should immediately undergo a full neurological work up with the results submitted to an independent set of neurologists for review and then released to the public. In an era of hypersensitivity surrounding concussions, there's no reason why Hillary Clinton with her history of brain trauma shouldn't allay those concerns publicly."
Not only is this a common practice, but the context is significant as well. Activists around the country are critiquing sports groups such as the National Football League for their lack of transparency surrounding the topic of brain injuries and neglect for the players experiencing them.
Clinton cannot continue the culture of allowing brain injuries to go under examined and under discussed. If football players are being pushed to be more cautious and willing to sit on the side lines rather than determent their health or their career, the President of the United States should be willing to do the same.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.