Texas Rangers' Announcer Dave Barnett's On-Air Rambling Could Signal a Stroke


What Led to Dave Barnett's On-Air Meltdown?

Dr. J Mocco, associate professor of neurological surgery at Vanderbilt University, said that that Barnett may have had aphasia, which is an impairment of language ability marked by a difficulty in getting words out. This is often a result of head injury or stroke.

He said that in the medical community, it's called "word salad" -- like a tossed salad but with words. "There are different types of aphasia, where you have slurred speech. Then there are aphasias like he had, where you substitute words that don't make sense. His brain is thinking of the right words, but they come out wrong," Mocco said.

Migraines can sometimes alter the blood flow to brain, he told ABC News.

"There's been a study that shows if you have a blockage in an artery leading to the brain, you lose 2 million brain cells every minute," Mocco said. "Sometimes people will suffer these kinds of symptoms, then they get better and go away. They may think that it was a passing thing. But it is actually crucial to go in and get it checked. The first symptoms are often critical warning signs."

Dr. Steven F. Huege, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, added that strategically located brain tumors and migraines can also lead to aphasia, and that they must be taken seriously.

"Patients who experience these symptoms would get a neurological exam, a detailed history would be taken, and they would likely have blood work to rule out an electrolyte disturbance," Huege said. "They would also likely get some kind of brain imaging."

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