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Medical Symptoms Caused LA Reporter To Speak Gibberish

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Serene Branson
Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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LOS ANGELES (WJZ) — It’s the video that’s all over the Internet. A reporter at a television station in Los Angeles suddenly begins speaking gibberish on air.

Jessica Kartalija explains her diagnosis is actually more common than you may realize.

Serene Branson is eager to get back to reporting the news, instead of being the story.

The Los Angeles reporter was doing a live shot after the Grammys when she began speaking gibberish.  The video went viral.

“I was terrified,” she said.  “I was scared and confused.  I didn’t know what was going on.”

Dr. Howard Moses is a neurologist at St. Joseph Medical Center. He says many who saw the footage thought the veteran reporter suffered a stroke.

“This sort of thing in a woman who seemingly had no risk factors for stroke, we call that complex migraine or complicated migraine. That’s a migraine associated with neurological signs and symptoms which simulate a stroke,” Moses said.

Branson told doctors she hadn’t been feeling well. During her live shot, her cheek and hand went numb–symptoms of a severe migraine that mimic a stroke.

“My vision was blurry,” Branson said. “I knew something wasn’t right, but I just thought I was tired.”

“She knew what she wanted to say, but couldn’t say it,” Moses said. “It came out gibberish.  The brain knew what it wanted to say but the mouth wouldn’t do it. Typical of something called aphasia.”

Doctors hope to use the video for research and to train medical students.

Branson says she hopes to return to the red carpet reporting for Oscar night.

A migraine can often resolve itself on its own. A patient only needs treatment if it happens over and over again.

Migraines are often hereditary. Branson’s mother had a similar episode when she was her daughter’s age.

For full details on this story, click here.

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