Daily Archives: April 19, 2013

Dystextia: A New Take On An Old Stroke Sign

“every where thinging days nighing”

“Some is where!”




This gibberish was texted by a 25-year-old, 11-week-pregnant woman to her husband. I know, you’re thinking it’s another case of autocorrect, that often annoying function on all these “not so smart” phones. But, that’s not the case.

She was taken to the Emergency Department where signs of a stroke–right-sided weakness, disorientation, and the inability to speak–were noted. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis. Fortunately, with anticoagulant treatment this young lady is doing fine.

Of the many signs of a stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident or CVA) and a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) difficulties with speech are the most variable and interesting. The medical term is aphasia. It can be receptive–the victim is unable to recognize spoken or written language–or expressive–the victim can’t say what he/she wants to say or it comes out as gibberish. Aphasia comes in many flavors and is a very odd symptom complex.

In this case, the aphasia was expressed as difficulty in “writing” a coherent text message. Dystextia seems like the correct moniker for this sign.

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