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McConnell reportedly not suffering from stroke or seizures, says Capitol doctor

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, is helped by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, after the 81-year-old GOP leader froze at the microphones on  July 26.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, is helped by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, after the 81-year-old GOP leader froze at the microphones on July 26.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not suffer a seizure, stroke or movement disorder when he temporarily froze at a news conference last week, according to a new letter from the attending physician at the U.S. Capitol.

McConnell's office released a letter on Tuesday from Dr. Brian Monahan recommending no changes to McConnell's treatment plan following a concussion he suffered earlier this year. In his letter, Monahan says his examination of McConnell on August 30 included "several medical evaluations: brain MRI imaging, EEG study, and consultations with several neurologists for a comprehensive neurology assessment." Monahan said there is no evidence McConnell is suffering from a seizure disorder, short strokes known as TIA or movement issues like Parkinson's disease.

The letter does not include any additional information about what caused either of the two recent public episodes where McConnell froze in front of reporters and had to be helped by aides.

Last week, Dr. Monahan released a short letter the day after the incident that said he'd consulted with McConnell and conferred with his neurology team and that the GOP leader was medically cleared to work. "Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration," the letter said.

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Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.