Reporter’s Nonsensical Speech Triggered By Migraine

By: Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It looks like a stroke, but it’s really something called migraine with aura.

“I wanted to say Lady Antebellum swept the Grammys, and I could think of the words, but they weren’t coming out properly,” said KCBS reporter Serene Branson said during the CBS Early Show Friday morning.

With her outburst of nonsensical speech during a live shot following the Grammys last weekend, there was a lot of worry she was having a stroke. However, it turns out, it wasn’t quite that serious.

“Typically with a migraine aura, you’ll have this electrical wave that begins in the back of the brain and then gradually moves forward,” said Dr. Lara Kunschner, a neurologist at Allegheny General Hospital.

As this happens, people can have flashing lights or zig zag lines in their vision, numbess and language problems. This can happen with, or even without, a headache.

“I had a headache, my vision was very blurry, I knew something wasn’t right, but I just thought I was tired,” Branson described.

Branson also has a family history of this – a characteristic of migraine.

“I didn’t even know my mother suffered from them until after this happened; and she said, you know, when I was in my earlier years, I had a few of them,” said Branson.

Doctors have to start by looking for the most serious possibilities with brain scans, brain wave tests and blood work. If there’s no stroke, bleeding, tumor or seizures, then migraine with aura can be diagnosed.

“When you put all the pieces together, migraine is the most common reason to have her problems,” Dr. Kunschner concurs. “Although they are terrifying, anxiety inducing, and frightening at the time, they are absolutely benign and people do extremely well. The likelihood is this will recur, because this is a lifelong condition.”

Branson has been given a migraine medicine called a triptan to take just in case it happens again.

Even though this turned out to be a migraine, which is not life-threatening, there is no way to know that at the time. A transient ischemic attack, or a stroke that quickly resolves, can still be a possibility, and that has to be evaluated immediately.

Having migraine with aura puts someone at a slightly higher risk of stroke, but in her favor, Branson doesn’t smoke, take hormonal birth control or have high blood pressure.

Serene Branson’s Bio
Allegheny General Hospital
LA Reporter’s Grammys Gibberish Could Be Sign Of TIA
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  • Branden

    The first time I saw this video, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

  • Nikki

    This is some excuse to say ” I was not feeling well, so I wasn’t myself” I have lived with Migraines all my life. Yes, they are terrible but do something about it and get on with your job/life.

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  • MM

    I have aura migraines all the time never has something like this happened, I believe just like all the fake beautiful people on TV this woman is a robot and one of her circuit boards malfunctioned oops.

    • Maggie

      Please don’t say it’s fake because I had to go through the same exact migraine and it was a very scary situation to be in when you have no clue what is wrong. I had this same exact migraine happen to me and I had the same effects. I couldn’t talk, I lost feeling on my left side and I had to be life flighted to a hospital. You’d be suprised what a migraine can do to people it can cause temporary blindness and even cause someone to be temporarily paralyzed.

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