Rangers announcer Dave Barnett was just as startled as everyone else when his speech suddenly turned into gibberish live on TV. Rather than talking about baseball, Barnett started talking about botched robberies, henchman and fifth bases. Now Barnett is undergoing testing to see if he suffered a stroke.
Strange or slurred speech is commonly the sign of a stroke and doctors explain that it is typically a left-hemisphere stroke that would result in aphasia, a word used to describe a wide range of speech or language problems. The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for speech and language abilities for most people, in addition to controlling the right side of the body. However, Barnett is not convinced that his language blip on air was relate to a stroke and instead believes that is is a result of his ongoing problems with migraine headaches. The 54-year-old was able to finish the rest of the game after a brief off-air break, but is taking time off to further investigate the problem.
You may also remember a similar incident that occured when Los Angeles TV announcer Serene Branson broke into gibberish during a live broadcast. Luckily, her symptoms were the result of migraines and she has since recovered. Doctors explain that a migraine related to speaking problems such as those that Branson and Barnett experienced are related to what is known as a complex migraine. The National Headache Foundation says that 23 million Americans suffer from unusual migraines that could be called complex. The difference between a complex migraine and a regular migraine is the neurologic event outlasts the headache. During a complex migraine, the blood vessels overdilate and there is a decrease of blood flow to the brain, resulting in a "spreading depression" (as doctors call it) or the polarization of the brain. The brain polarizes because it cannot signal correctly and receive blood supply. Although there are some medicines to help with problem, they aren't always able to stop complex migraines from occuring even though they can decrease the pain. In addition, complex migraines are associated with other conditions like strokes.
Lets hope that this is the end of his problems for Barnett.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.