Garbled texting as a sign of stroke

From the New York Times:

Slurred and incoherent speech is one of the classic signs of a stroke. But new research finds that another symptom may be garbled and disjointed text messages, which could provide early clues to the onset of a stroke.

In Detroit, doctors encountered a 40-year-old patient who had no trouble reading, writing or understanding language. His only consistent problem was that he had lost the ability to type coherent text messages on his phone. An imaging scan showed that he had suffered a mild ischemic stroke, caused by a clot or blockage in his brain.

The case represents at least the second instance of what doctors are calling “dystextia.” In December, a report in The Archives of Neurology [Ravi, A, Rao, VR, Klein, JP. Dystextia: Acute Stroke in the Modern Age. Arch Neurol. 2012 Dec 24:1. PMID:23266876] described a 25-year-old pregnant woman whose husband grew concerned after she sent him a series of incoherent text messages. Doctors found that the woman had also been experiencing weakness in her right arm and leg, and that she had earlier had difficulty filling out an intake form at her obstetrician’s office.

Read the complete story here.

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