Serene Branson, a CBS reporter, may not have suffered a stroke, instead having had a Migraine attack with aura according to doctors. Branson's KCBS-TV coverage of the Grammy show last Sunday night was going well, when she suddenly started to slur her words, became incoherent, and the left side of her face was droopy. You can tell in the video that she knew something was very wrong. The station cut away from her report, she was checked over by paramedics and sent home to recover.
Ms. Branson saw neurologist Dr. Neil Martin, at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center to rule out a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA.) Dr. Martin reviewed her medical and family’s medical history, conducted a complete neurological exam and had Ms. Branson under go extensive neurological testing. Everything was normal. So the next step was to see a Migraine specialist.
Dr. Andrew Charles is the director of the Headache Research and Treatment Program in the UCLA Department of Neurology who saw Ms. Branson. After her appointment, Dr. Charles said she may have suffered a Migraine with aura attack, not a stroke. Ms. Branson never had an attack like this before, but did have Migraines as a child. Since other members of her family have Migraines, she may be at an increased risk for more Migraines.
Migraine with aura can have many symptoms that are quite alarming. These can include, but are not limited to, numbness in the face and/or hands; difficulty finding words, visual problems such as seeing flashing lights or wavy lines and double vision. Not everyone has aura with each Migraine attack, and hopefully Ms. Branson's will be an isolated one. She seems to have recovered just fine and has no lasting effects according to Dr. Charles.
Conely, Mikaela; Moisse, Katie. ABCNews.Com. Good Morning America "Grammy Reporter Serene Branson Suffered Complex Migraine Not Stroke, Doctor Says." February 17, 2011.
Maugh, Thomas. Los Angelos Times. Booster Shots. "CBS reporter Serene Branson suffered 'migraine aura,' doctor says." February 17, 2011.
Thanks for reading and feel well,
© Nancy Harris Bonk, 2011.Last updated February 17, 2011.