Healthcare Business News

Outliers: That garbled text could be a warning

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: January 12, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

Add “dystextia” to the diagnostic terms physicians can throw around. And while it's about the oft-annoying subject of text-messaging, Outliers will refrain from too much smart aleckery, since it involves a serious topic.

It seems jumbled, nonsensical text messages can be a sign of stroke.

In a recent article in Archives of Neurology, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and his colleagues detailed a case they encountered. A pregnant woman went in for a routine checkup, came out of the office and texted her husband.

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But the text made no sense, concerning her husband enough to take her to the emergency room. Turns out, she was having a stroke. Since the woman had lost her voice due to a cold, her dystextia was the key clue her physicians had to her problem.

“The dystextia was the first clinical sign that we had that she was having a stroke,” Dr. Joshua Klein told National Public Radio.

The woman had no permanent damage and recovered her ability to speak (and text).

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