Serene Branson suffered a 'complex migrane,' says her physician
The most commonly discussed theory has been a mini-stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), which occurs when blood supply is blocked off to the brain. It has also been suggested that Branson may have suffered a mild seizure in the language area of her brain.
Branson's physician has come forward (with her blessing) and tells the L.A. Times that he doesn't believe either of the previously mentioned hypotheses are correct.
According to Dr. Neil Martin, chief of neurosurgery at the UCLA Medical center, what viewers saw on the frightening video was actually a symptom of a "complex migraine."
A complex migraine is a headache which is often accompanied by symptoms such as weakness, loss of vision or difficulty speaking. According to HealthCentral.com, complex migraines are often mistaken for strokes.
Migraines are thought to be caused by blood vessels in the brain narrowing (also known as a spasm) and then dilating. It is when the blood vessels spasm that stroke-like symptoms may occur, though blood flow to the brain is not permanently interrupted. The headache comes from blood vessel dilation.
Symptoms of complex migraines are almost always temporary, as Branson checked out fine with paramedics following the incident.
Treatment for this condition can range from dietary changes to prescription medicine, and even over the counter aids such as ibuprofen. Branson's doctor has not said what sort of treatment she will be seeking, but we're glad the Emmy nominated reporter is getting answers. Hopefully she'll be back to work soon.