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.
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).