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News Release by Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH)
October 4th, 2012

Translated by Jay Tu

Former President Chen Shui Bian underwent a series of examinations at TVGH. After consulting with internal and external specialists, we summarize the diagnoses and suggestions below based on the tests conducted by departments of neurology, psychiatry, urology, respiratory and pulmonary care, and infectious diseases:

1. A number of non-specific sub-cortical white spots were found in the MRI images of President Chen’s brain. By consulting experts from several hospitals, it is concluded that these white spots unlikely are stroke lesions. The possible causes of these spots, in the order of their likelihoods, are hypertension combined with small vessel disease, severe depression, sleep apnea, aging, and degenerative brain disease. In addition, President Chen suffers symptoms of stammer language barriers combined visual agnosia (difficulty in identifying objects), which probably are caused by mental disorders or degenerative brain disease. We recommend continuing current medication and combining it with psychiatric treatments for President Chen. Long term monitoring and evaluation are also suggested.

2. Sleep lab and other physiology examinations discovered that President Chen suffers severe obstructive sleep apnea. TVGH has provided initial treatment for this problem and long-term treatment is being evaluated.

3. Based on the diagnosis by the psychiatric department, President Chen suffers severe depression combined with anxiety and multiple somatic symptoms, which have become chronic. Many of these somatic symptoms cannot be explained by tests using the medical instruments available in our hospital. We suggest that he be transferred to a psychiatric clinic or a hospital equipped with the psychiatric department for medication and psychotherapy. It is urgent and essential that the living setting of President Chen be changed to render psychiatric treatment effective.

4. Other medical conditions of President Chen include prostate hypertrophy, prostate inflammation and urinary tract infection. The existing difficulty in urination and urinary retention problems required the insertion of a catheter to assist urination, resulting in urinary tract infection. The infection has been under control after treatment and the catheter has been removed. Although he can now urinate by himself but he still suffers uncontrolled urinating. This loss of urination control is a temporary phenomenon after the catheter removal.

 

The notes below are based on media reports, not a part of the official news release by TVGH.

  • A renowned brain specialist, Dr. Chen Shuen-Shen, disagreed with the diagnosis by TVGH.  He presented MRI images of President Chen’s brain to Legislation Yuan in a hearing to discuss his view.  Dr. Chen believes that these white spots are stroke lesions.  In a later interview with YAMS TV, he pointed out the difficulty President Chen has to identify objects is related to the damage to his left lobe of the brain. In addition to damages to his brain, President Chen also suffers severe depression and victim paranoia.  TVGH did not list victim paranoia in its news release even though this symptom was agreed upon by both sides of doctors.  Dr. Lin, deputy president of TVGH, did confirm the symptom of victim paranoia in the hearing of Legislation Yuan.

    According to Dr. CD Kuo, testified at the same hearing at Legislation Yuan, President Chen's sleep apnea is very serious. He stops breathing over 50 times an hour. In other words, he stops breathing about 10-20 seconds every minute.  Dr. Chen Shuen-Shen pointed out, in the same hearing, that severe sleep apnea could cause the oxygen level of the brain blood supply to drop below 70, which is a life threatening condition.  Dr. Chen emphasized that only a hospital with both psychological treatment facilities and expertise in treating brain conditions is suitable to accommodate President Chen.

    Dr. Chen Shuen-Shen stated without doubt if President Chen is sent back to the Taipei prison, MOJ and the prison authority could have high anxieties over his life.  Therefore, relocating President Chen to a friendly living setting is a must.  Reducing his stress level by relocating him to a friendlier and familiar living setting could slow down the damages to his small brain vessels and this reason alone qualifies President Chen for the medical parole according to law. 

    According to Dr. Ko Wen-Je, testified at the same hearing, the medical conditions of President Chen can only be worse because the conditions listed in the TVGH news release are only those agreed upon by doctors from both sides.  Dr. Ko revealed that he visited the prison cell in which President Chen was imprisoned as a part of a Control Yuan investigation. The room is lighted by a big florescent light, 24 hours a day, for the illumination needed for a monitor. The monitor aims at the toilet hole and will expose President's private area every time he uses the toilet hole. President Chen often held his bladder to avoid exposing himself to the monitor.  Over time, his bladder control has substaintially weakened.

2012-10-04

 

北榮表示,陳水扁有重度憂鬱及疑似精神疾病

〔記者魏怡嘉/台北報導〕台北榮總明天公佈前總統陳水扁檢查結果,北榮今天表示,扁有重度憂鬱症、合併焦慮及多重身體化症狀,且已呈現慢性化,由於這些身 體化症狀為當今醫療儀器檢查上所無法解釋的身體現象,北榮建議宜儘速轉介至精神專科或設置有精神科醫院接受藥物及心理治療。

北榮指出,扁此次住院檢查結果,相關的可能診斷依次為高血壓併微小血管病變、重度憂鬱症、睡眠呼吸中止症、老化及退化性腦病變等,此外,扁有結巴性語言障礙合併命名障礙,疑似精神性疾患或是退化性腦病變所導致,建議持續目前用藥及配合精神科治療,並進行長期追蹤評估。

北榮強調,扁的腦部磁振造影檢查,發現數個非特異性皮質下白質高訊號點,經各院專家會診,認為不像中風病灶,另扁睡眠多項生理檢查也發現有重度阻塞性睡眠呼吸中止症,目前北榮已針對這個問題進行初步的治療,至於長期治療則正在評估當中。

另扁亦發現有攝護腺肥大、攝護腺發炎及泌尿道感染,原有解尿困難及尿滯留,需使用導尿管排尿,經治療後,泌尿道感染已獲控制,導尿管已拔除,可自行排尿,但仍有急迫性尿失禁的現象,但這個現象為拔除尿管後的暫時現象。

自由時報 2012-10-04

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