Vital Signs
1:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Can A Garbled Text Mean Stroke?

You probably get text messages often with misspellings and abbreviations.  But doctors say mistakes in texting  sometimes suggest a problem more serious than bad grammar.  

It’s called dystextia, and it means trouble communicating through text messaging or e-mails.

Here's an example from a study on dystextia from the Archives of Neurology:

Him: So what's the deal?
Her: Every where thinging days nighing
Her: Some is where!
Him: What the hell does that mean?
Him: You're not making any sense.

Dr. Mark Alberts, Vice Chair of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, explains dystextia in this segment of Vital Signs.

Dr. Mark Alberts of UT Southwestern Medical Center explains dystextia, which is trouble communicating through texts or emails.

Symptoms of Stroke (from MayoClinic.com):

Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Note when your signs and symptoms begin, because the length of time they have been present may guide your treatment decisions.

Trouble with walking. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.

Trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. You may slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.

Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Similarly, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.

Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.

Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you're having a stroke.

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Every minute counts. Don't wait to see if symptoms go away. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability. To maximize the effectiveness of evaluation and treatment, you'll need to be treated at a hospital or stroke center within three hours after your first symptoms appeared. If you're with someone you suspect is having a stroke, watch the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance.