Public concern for Serene Branson ignited Sunday after a Grammy segment featuring the CBS L.A. reporter disoriented and speaking “gibberish” went viral. Now, Serene along with her team of doctors have classified her episode as a migraine aura, not a stroke or seizure which many first speculated. But what exactly is a migraine aura and what were her symptoms?
A migraine aura, a complex migraine in non-medical terms, can mimic the effects of a small stroke.
The condition includes three categories of symptoms: visual, language and sensory, the L.A. Times reports.
The most common symptom of this class of migraine — sparkling lights and zigzag lines surrounding the victim’s field of vision.
“All her symptoms fall within the definition of migraine aura,” Dr. Andrew Charles, director of UCLA’s Headache Research and Treatment Program, said in an interview Thursday, via the L.A. Times. “That’s what she had.”
Another main symptom, language dysfunction, known as dysphasic language dysfunction, is when the victim knows what he or she wants to say “but can’t come up with the words. Clearly, that’s what she was having when she was on the air,” Dr. Charles added.
The sensory symptoms, including numbness and tingling in the face and hands, Serene was “experiencing that as well.”
Dr. Neil Martin, chief of neurosurgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, performed a neurological examination on Serene and once he ruled out a stroke, he turned to family history.
Serene had suffered from migraines as a child and they run in the family.
“That’s typical of migraines,” Charles said. “Each attack can be slightly different. Some people have auras only occasionally.”
“Serene completely fine now. She has no residual symptoms,” he added. “I expect this not to be a significant problem for her moving forward.”
Serene also opened up in an interview with CBS and said she is feeling good and wants to move on with her career.
“I’ve got to get ready for the Oscars now!” she said.
Catch Serene’s garbled broadcast, that launched a media firestorm, below.