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Serene Branson an accidental advocate for migraineurs?

A clip of reporter Serene Branson speaking after the Grammys has gone viral. While addressing the TV viewing audience, Ms. Branson’s speech became slurred and nonsensical for a few seconds before the director switched to another feed. The rumors went rampant. Was she on drugs? Is she just “lol so stupid,” as one commenter suggested? Did that pretty reporter just have a stroke on air?

Branson was immediately checked out to rule out anything serious, and her neurologist has confirmed that she is a migraineur who was in the midst of a complex migraine. physician expert Dr. Marcus has this to say.

In looking for people’s reactions to the clip, I was actually heartened to see that most comments were pretty positive. More than one Facebook page dedicated to her were not jokes, as I’d expected. (True there are a couple out there making fun of her, but they’re less populated for sure.) This page is full of positive well-wishes, mostly from people who also suffer from migraine disease and, despite feeling bad for Ms. Branson, are grateful that the complex migraine condition has been brought into the spotlight. She has become an accidental heroine, an unintended advocate for migraineurs. Any time migraine is in the news, there’s a chance for those of us who have this disease to speak up and educate those around us. Let’s take this opportunity to share with others about the nature of our disease and the ways it can appear.

Migraine disease manifests in many ways (as you know by perusing this site!) and some of the most complicated, strange symptoms are hard to explain to those who haven’t gone through them.

I’ve had serious trouble “word finding” and have been a little slurry now and again, but NEVER to this degree, and rarely so much so that those around me even notice that anything’s wrong. Sometimes I don’t even realize what’s happening until the migraine headache sets in minutes or hours later.

Do you ever suffer speech difficulties during a migraine attack? How have those around you responded?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • ladyesther
    5 years ago

    I have been noticing this in myself. It is a bit scary because it mimics stroke symptoms. For now I think my symptoms are related to my migraine.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    Yes, as you can see from my own blog post right after this one, I have suffered transient aphasia many times. I haven’t had it happen to that degree in a while though *cross fingers*. I hope to write more about it in the weeks to come.

  • Diana-Lee
    8 years ago

    Thankfully I’ve never had this happen, though I’ve had some other neurological misfires during a migraine such as losing my eyesight and fainting (rarely). Even though I’ve been frustrated by the way people keep referring to this as a Complex Migraine (as a proper noun), I’m still glad people are seeing just how serious migraine can be. It’s not just a headache! I really thank Serene for being willing to be open about what happened and do interviews, too. I think it’s important.

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