Update 2-17-11: Not a stroke, thank goodness, but a stroke mimic, a complex migraine:
LOS ANGELES — A TV reporter who lapsed into gibberish during a live shot outside the Grammys suffered a migraine, her doctors said Thursday.
KCBS-TV reporter Serene Branson was doing a stand-up Sunday outside the Staples Center where the award show was held when her speech became incoherent. The station quickly cut away, and she was examined by paramedics and recovered at home.
Branson’s incoherence fueled Internet speculation that she suffered an on-air stroke. But doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles where she went to get a brain scan and blood work done ruled it out.
I’m glad for her. The smart move is to assume this is a stroke until proven it’s not, and I’m glad it wasn’t.
The site I found this on assumed it was on-air jitters, and called it ‘the flub heard ’round the world‘.
Except it’s not a flub. This is one way a stroke can present (watch the video, it’s short and unforgettable):
I cannot suppress the autoplay, and for that reason the video and the rest of the post is below the fold. Apologies.
If it’s true she was examined by Paramedics and cleared then that means she was essentially back to normal, making this a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), which means essentially ‘a stroke you get over’.
Note some of the things I’m sent in emails to confirm a stroke suspicion aren’t here: no facial drooping, apparently in control of her arms completely, standing normally, etc.
She has an obvious speech disturbance, is aware of it (as she repeats herself), but interestingly has the TV intro/handoff cadence so ingrained that even with unintelligible speech you can hear the pacing and intonation come through.
Fortunately there’s a report she went to a hospital, and will no doubt get a battery of tests, which could conceivably be done as an outpatient but I’d want the initial evaluation not to wait, but to be done emergently in an ED. If you start doing this, or someone in your family does, hie thee to an ED.
I hope she has a complete recovery, and she has a potential career in stroke awareness ahead of her (I understand she also sings).