Serene Branson: Why Did Reporter Slur Words at Grammys?

CBS 2 reporter Serene Branson. (CBS) CBS

Serene Branson reports after the 2011 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif on Feb. 14, 2011.
Serene Branson reports after the 2011 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif on Feb. 14, 2011.
KCBS


Update: 12:30 a.m.: Video of this incident is no longer available on YouTube

UPDATE (2:16 P.M. EST): Serene Branson is doing fine, according to a statement issued by the station where the TV reporter works. "Serene Branson was examined by paramedics on scene immediately after her broadcast, KCBS said in the statement. "Her vital signs were normal.  She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says that she is feeling fine this morning."


(CBS) - Was it a stroke, a strange slip of the tongue or something else?

That's what television viewers are asking after Serene Branson, a seasoned reporter for CBS's Los Angeles affiliate, suffered an unsettling on-camera speaking problem during last night's broadcast of the Grammy  Awards.

"Well, a very heavy burtation tonight," she said, smiling broadly. But her smile disappeared as her speech devolved into a series of incomprehensible utterances.

To be clear, it's not immediately known what happened to Branson and calls to the station where she works went unanswered at press-time. But a neurologist who watched Branson's episode offered several possible explanations as to what happened to her.

"Stroke is the number one possibility," Dr. John Krakauer, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, told CBS News. Other possibilities, he said, include a transient ischemic attack - a sort of "mini-stroke" that produces no lasting problems - a migraine headache, or a seizure.

Stroke in a young woman like Branson?

"It's a lot more common in young people than people realize," Krakauer said. "About 50,000 people a year have a stroke under the age of 50."

In addition to sudden problems thinking of or saying words, symptoms of stroke include a drooping face, the loss of vision in one eye, or the loss of movement or sensation on one side of the body.

The American Heart Association offers more on the warning signs of stroke.

As for Branson's current condition, we'll keep you posted as we find out more.

  • David W Freeman

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