Avera Medical Minute: Complex Migraines - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Complex Migraines

Kristen Townsend from Sioux Falls suffers from complex migraines. Kristen Townsend from Sioux Falls suffers from complex migraines.

As reporters we know that sometimes when we are on "live" the words we want to come out of our mouths sometimes escape us. But for one reporter in LA, the words coming out of her mouth were completely garbled. Nancy Naeve Brown talked to an Avera Neurologist about complex migraines and a Sioux Falls woman who also deals with this syndrome.

When Los Angeles reporter Serene Branson started speaking gibberish during a live report after the Grammy's it went viral almost immediately. So many who watched thought for sure she having a stroke, but that's not at all what Kristen Townsend was thinking.

Kristen says, "When I saw that reporter the first thinking I thought was it looks like she has what I had. Hers was more pronounced than mine, but I thought that's exactly what the migraine brought on for me."

Kristen has suffered with migraines for the last 2 years, but didn't realize that was root of the issues she was dealing with.

Kristen says, "I had moments that just wasn't right and a word would slip in or the front half of one word and the back half of another in the middle of a sentence completely out of context. Very, very strange that's when I decided I'd better go to the ER and see what's going on."

Her doctors and those of Serene Branson would confirm the aphasia, the inability to process language, was caused by a migraine. Avera Neurologist Dr. Carol Miles says the severity of this incident doesn't happen all that often.

Avera Neurology Associates Dr. Miles says, "People with the syndrome like she had disturbing but also for people with visual aura it's hard to drive with that. It's hard to work and a lot of them, if they have an aura, if not severe or infrequent, they end up treating them preventively any way."

For Kristen she takes Nortriptyline, a prescribed medication, for her migraines but she has found the most relief by exercising.

Kristen says, "Every night that I work out I remember the next day I will be migraine free and it really has make the biggest difference for me."

If the combination of meds and moving can keep Kristen from speaking in uncontrollable tongues she'll happily keep the routine.

Dr. Miles has a clinic specially designed for migraine patients. She says a lot of people don't think they are suffering with migraines because they are only considering the severity of the headache.


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