Health Highlights: Dec. 26, 2012

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  • Garbled Texting Reveals Woman's Stroke

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Garbled Texting Reveals Woman's Stroke

A text from an 11-weeks-pregnant woman to her husband so alarmed him, he insisted she go immediately to an emergency room, doctors report.

The message read: "every where thinging days nighing," her text read. "Some is where!" The woman's husband knew she kept her autocorrect off, so something else was up, ABC News reported.

At the emergency room, doctors diagnosed the 25-year-old with a stroke. The story does have a happy ending, however. After a hospital stay and treatment with blood thinners her symptoms resolved and her pregnancy continued normally, ABC notes.

The event was reported online Dec. 25 in the Archives of Neurology by doctors from Harvard School of Medicine. The doctors refer to the woman's condition as "dystextia," a termed coined in an earlier case.

The condition appears to be a new type of aphasia, which is trouble processing written or spoken information. "As the accessibility of electronic communication continues to advance, the growing digital record will likely become an increasingly important means of identifying neurologic disease, particularly in patient populations that rely more heavily on written rather than spoken communication," the doctors wrote.

Although jumbled text messages are common Dr. Larry Goldstein, a neurologist and director of the stroke center at Duke University, told ABC that, "It would have been very easy to dismiss because of the normal problems with texting, but this was a whole conversation that wasn't making sense. I might be concerned about a patient based on a text like this if they were telling me they hadn't intended to send a disjointed jumble but they weren't able to correct themselves."

Goldstein also said aphasic symptoms are often discounted, however, they can be signs of a serious medical condition.

In this case, the woman had signs earlier in the day including inability to fill out a form and speaking, ABC reported.

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