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:
Not that we need an excuse to eat chocolate, but if you’ve had a heart attack, you may want to grab the Ghirardelli. Scientists know that eating dark chocolate (not milk—that’s the obesity-feeder) can reduce person’s risk of stroke and heart disease. Now researchers have found that eating chocolate can increase a person’s chances of survival after they’ve suffered a heart attack.
In the Journal of Internal Medicine, Boston researchers published a study finding that when people who’d had a heart attack ate chocolate two to three times a week, they significantly reduced their risk of dying from heart disease.
The scientists studied over 1,000 non-diabetic Swedish men and women between the ages of 45 and 70, all of whom had suffered from a heart attack in the 1990s. They were asked about their diet over the past year and about how much chocolate they ate. The researchers compared their heath exam from the three months after their initial hospital stay to their condition eight years later. They found that “the incidence of fatal heart attacks correlated inversely with the amount of chocolate consumed.”
So what’s the secret in dark chocolate? The researchers believe the antioxidants in cocoa keep free radicals from damaging cells the body. Plus it tastes so darn good.
Image: flickr/ eszter
TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is an annual conference that features some fascinating lectures on a broad range of topics, including science. All the talks are videotaped and available for free (as audio or video) at their Web site, and they’re definitely worth checking out.
There’s one particularly compelling video given by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. Taylor has a deep, visceral understanding of the brain that few neuroscientists have achieved: A blood vessel exploded in her brain in 1996. In her talk, she recounts the experience of witnessing her body and mind deteriorate, as over the course of 4 hours she lost her ability to walk, talk, read, write, and recall any memories. Well aware that she was having a stroke, she managed to study and remember every moment, thinking “Wow, this is so cool, how many brain scientists have the chance to study that from the inside?”