Navigation Links
TV Reporter's Severe Migraine Mimicked a Stroke
Date:2/19/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Many people who watched Los Angeles TV reporter Serene Branson suffer what appeared to be a stroke while covering the Grammy awards last Sunday were no doubt relieved to hear her troubles were apparently caused by a severe migraine headache.

Doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles, who performed a brain scan and blood work on Branson, said she suffered a type of migraine -- often called a complex or complicated migraine -- that can mimic symptoms of a stroke, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, president of the American Heart Association and chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, explained that "a complicated migraine can often masquerade as a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack, sometimes called a mini-stroke)."

The symptoms can look just like a stroke, Sacco said, including loss of vision, blurry vision, paralysis on one side of the body, trouble speaking and trouble walking. "All kinds of things we associate with a TIA or stroke can be part of a complicated migraine," he said.

For people whose first experience with a migraine is a complex migraine, Sacco advises that they assume it is a stroke, however.

"If people have these classic symptoms, we should treat them as the emergency we think they are, which is a possible stroke," he said.

Stroke patients should be taken immediately to a hospital where a potentially life-saving, clot-busting drug known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) can be administered.

According to Sacco, a complex or complicated migraine is caused by an electrical malfunction in the brain, which may be triggered by certain chemicals that produce the symptoms. Stroke, however, is caused by restricted blood flow to the brain, he noted.

"A migraine is not just a headache. It's a complicated brain event," UCLA neurologist Dr. Andrew Charles, who examined Branson, told the AP.

Branson felt numbness on the right side of her face that affected her speech, Charles told the news service. "She was actually having the headache while she was having these other symptoms," he said.

Branson said that, while waiting to go on air, she noticed that the words on her notes were blurry and her "thoughts were not forming the way they normally do," the AP reported.

"As soon as I opened my mouth I knew something was wrong," she said. "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."

Another migraine expert, Dr. Timothy Smith, who runs a headache clinic in St. Louis, noted that "complicated migraines are not very common."

The big difference between a stroke and a complicated migraine is that the effects of the migraine are completely reversible, he said.

"Symptoms can last a few minutes for close to an hour," Smith said. "If it goes on longer than an hour, that's the sign of a more complex problem," he added.

After symptoms of a complicated migraine disappear, the patient is left with the headache, Smith said.

More information

For more on migraines, visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., president, American Heart Association, and chairman, neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Timothy Smith, M.D., migraine specialist, St. Louis; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The Pentagon Tragedy: Mental Illness, Violence and What Reporters Should Ask
2. Georgetown Research Center Helps Reporters Decipher Health Reform Law & Impact on State Residents
3. Fellowship allows diverse reporters to cultivate public awareness of aging issues
4. Local Blood Supply Impacted by Wednesdays Severe Snow Storm
5. Severe sleep apnea decreases frequency of nightmare recall
6. Severe Sleep Apnea Has Silver Lining
7. H1N1 learnings: Risk factors for severe outcomes among patients admitted to hospital with H1N1
8. Obesity -- mild or severe -- raises kidney stone risk
9. Larynx preservation treatments result in low instance of severe voice disability, nutritional dysfunction
10. UM School of Medicine finds prenatal cocaine exposure not severely damaging to growth, learning
11. Severe Injuries From ATV Accidents on the Rise
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in enterprise ... one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec will ... utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control to ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... DC (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... Center for Global Policy Solutions is vehemently opposed to Donald Trump’s budget, “A ... formula for despair that inspires fear, demonizes the poor, marginalizes underserved populations, undermines ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... to its solutions portfolio. ExtraHop delivers an analytics-first approach, layered with machine learning, ... system, from the datacenter to the cloud to the edge. Through the new ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Fiberstar, Inc., http://www.FiberstarIngredients.com ... and beverage industry offers Citri-Fi®, a natural citrus fiber, to improve beverage ingredient ... As a result, labels need to deliver simple, transparent and clear messaging. Listed ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network ... The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Women’s Behavioral Health at West Penn Hospital ... western Pennsylvania for women suffering from pregnancy-related depression. Construction of the Center is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2017)... May 5, 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), ... 100,000 square feet to its Welch Allyn campus. ... commitment to bring more than 100 new jobs to ... Allyn has maintained a significant presence for more than ... new positions, a large portion of which will be ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... SAN DIEGO , May 4, 2017  The ... Clinical and Scientific Meeting— OBP Medical , a leading ... announced the launch of a new extra-small size and ... ER-SPEC vaginal specula. Already available in small, ... sizes makes OBP Medical,s line of single-use lighted specula ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 3, 2017 A Catheterization Laboratory is ... healthcare facility. Commonly referred to as cath lab, ... diagnostic imaging technology to give physicians visual access ... these spaces, a team of physicians perform life-saving ... coronary intervention, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: