Along with the rest of the country, I was startled when I watched reporter Serene Branson’s slurred speech during a live broadcast this past Sunday. The looming speculation was that she was suffering a stroke, and it was scary to watch.
Thank goodness she was not and is feeling fine. What her doctors say Branson had was a complex migraine with aura.
Complex migraines, especially those with auras, can cause slurred speech. According to the Huffington Post, Dr. Neil Martin, the Chief of Neurosurgery at the UCLA Medical Center confirmed the official diagnosis.
The scary part is that a complex migraine can be mistaken for a stroke. People can suffer loss of vision and have difficulty speaking when one is occurring. Doctors point out that stroke protocol needs to be considered first in these situations since every minute during an actual stroke counts.
I suffer from migraines and had never heard of it before, but my smart readers had. In fact, two of them, Caroline and John, commented right away when the news broke saying that Branson might be experiencing a migraine headache.
With younger people suffering from more strokes, it is vital that we are aware of the symptoms, and if you ever see someone exhibiting slurred speech, it is critical to get them to a hospital immediately because you just never know what it is. Fortunately, Branson suffered a migraine and not a stroke, but not everyone is as lucky.