Docs Say a Migraine—Not a Stroke—Caused Reporter's On-Air Babbling

By Patrick Morgan | February 18, 2011 12:36 pm

It turns out that the news reporter who suddenly began speaking gibberish as she covered the Grammy Awards wasn’t suffering from a stroke–doctors conclude that a migraine is to blame.

Serene Branson, a reporter for KCBS-TV, began speaking incoherently during her coverage of the annual music awards ceremony. “As soon as I opened my mouth I knew something was wrong,” Branson told MSNBC. “I was having trouble remembering the word for Grammy…. I knew what I wanted to say but I didn’t have the words to say it.”

Many internet viewers thought she was stricken by an on-air stroke, but physicians from the University of California at Los Angeles scanned her head and tested her blood, and discovered that she was simply the victim of a migraine. It all started with a strong headache, Branson told MSNBC, but then it escalated:

“At around 10 o’clock that night I was sitting in the live truck with my field producer and the photographer and I was starting to look at some of my notes,” she said. “I started to think, the words on the page are blurry and I could notice that my thoughts were not forming the way they normally do.”

While on camera, Branson’s right face became numb, which resulted in her mixed-up speech, UCLA Neurologist Andrew Charles told MSNBC. Charles, the physician who examined Bronson, adds that a “migraine is not just a headache. It’s a complicated brain event.” While a majority of people have no warning of an impending migraine, up to 30 percent of people do experience some forewarning–and Bronson’s just happened to come in the form of face numbness and modified speech.

Bronson has now fully recovered from last Sunday, Charles informed MSNBC. “She’s completely back to herself.”

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  • Meryl Randoll

    Personally, I do like the name, I think it’s kind of neat. I think it’s a little easier to say. I think they are being very consistent with their products and I relate to them whenever I see the price preceding the name.But, as with anything else, we all have our own personal preferences. Each to his own, I always say. What’s your preference?


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