Neurologist Facundo Manes, who has just been voted into Argentina's Lower House on behalf of the opposition Together for a Change (JxC - Juntos por el Cambio) coalition, has said President Alberto Fernández had a cognitive deficiency known as anosognosia.
The physician based his assessment on Fernández's speech Sunday calling all militants to celebrate victory after the ruling Everybody's Front (Frente de Todos - FdT) lost roughly by 9 percentage points nationwide.
Anosognosia means not recognizing the problem and when a patient does not recognize the problem, he will not be able to face rehabilitation,” Manes said.
“It gives me a feeling of surprise that the Government celebrates because it did not win. They do not recognize the situation, there were almost 10 points of difference. It was a clear victory for Juntos por el Cambio, for the first time before a united Peronism,” Manes insisted in a radio interview.
There is nothing to celebrate, nobody has to be happy in a country with half the population in poverty, he went on.
Anosognosia is basically the inability of introspection to perceive and recognize a disease that one suffers. The term was first coined by French neurologist Joseph Babinski in 1914. It stems from Greek: a standing for no, or without, then nosos meaning disease and gnosis” standing for knowledge. Put together it is tantamount to not knowing one's illnesses.
“Anosognosia is a symptom that can appear in different pathologies, disorders or diseases, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, after some types of stroke or other brain injuries; and in many cases of dementia, as is usual in Alzheimer's disease,” according to a medical website.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the United States (NAMI), when a person rejects a diagnosis it could be classified as a conscious denial. However, it could be a mental illness as well, whenever this lack of knowledge or awareness is the result of a disorder ensuing brain damage, according to neurologist Juan José Cirio, who was quoted by TN.
Anosognosia “can be due to focal lesions in specific areas of the brain such as those originated during a stroke, a head injury or a brain tumour, or in other cases, it is part of a disease such as degenerative conditions that progressively deteriorate neurological functions, such as dementia,” Cirio explained.
Diseases associated with anosognosia include schizophrenia (with a prevalence of approximately 30%), bipolar disorder (20%), and dementia.