You may have heard or read typical warning signs of stroke. A new study reveals the way we text could help diagnosis stroke. If your text messages are garbled, which is dystexia, it could mean you should seek medical help.
Findings published by physicians at Henry Ford Health System yesterday suggest dystexia could be a valuable tool for diagnosing, intervening and preventing major stroke that could be fatal.
The finding comes from a patient who sent the following series of text messages to his wife while on a business trip: “Oh baby your;” followed by “I am happy, and then 2 minutes later, ” Two "I am out of it, just woke up, can't make sense, I can't even type, call if ur awake, love you.”
The next day the man was seen at the hospital. The only finding was some weakness on the right side of his face. He had no difficulty speaking or communicating.
Dystexia a type of stroke-related aphasia
To try to clarify things, doctors asked the man to enter the following message on his smartphone: “The doctor needs a new blackberry.” Instead, the man entered: “Tjhe Doctor nddds a new bb.”
When the man read what he entered, it was revealed he also could not discern anything wrong with the text message.
Neurologist Omran Kaskar, M.D., of the Henry Ford Hospital said dystexia could be the only symptom of stroke related to an inability to communicate – a type of aphasia.
“Text messaging is a common form of communication with more than 75 billion texts sent each month,” says Dr. Kaskar in a press release. “Besides the time-honored tests we use to determine aphasia in diagnosing stroke, checking for dystexia may well become a vital tool in making such a determination.”
Kaskar adds texting is time stamped, which also gives clues to when symptoms occurred.
A well-known symptom of ischemic stroke that comes from lack of blood flow to the brain, is difficulty speaking and processing language. In his instance, the man had no trouble speaking.
Thanks to technology, physicians now have a new diagnostic tool to help identify small strokes that for some can be fatal within 30 days from more severe stroke.
According to the CDC, the top 5 warning signs of stroke that many people fail to recognize include:
• Sudden weakness or numbness, especially on one side, of the arms, legs, or face
• Sudden difficulty with vision in one or both eyes.
• Sudden dizziness, loss of balance, lack of coordination, or trouble walking
• Sudden difficulty speaking, or confusion
• Sudden onset of severe headache that could indicate hemorrhagic versus ischemic stroke
Dystexia might now be added to the top 5 warning signs of stroke. The CDC also notes one American dies from stroke every minute.
Henry Ford Health Systems
March 14, 2013