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Video: Reporter tells of on-air incoherence

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    >> television reporter who became incoherent during a report has now opened up for the first time about the incident and what her doctors believe may have caused it. today amy robach has details on that. good morning to you.

    >> reporter: good morning. serene branson said she was terrified and confused when the words she wanted to say would not come out. doctors say she experienced a complex migraine. the video has become a youtube sensation for viewers across the country. on thursday night, serene branson watched it for the first time.

    >> well, a very, very heavy -- [ garbled speech ]

    >> reporter: ton late news branson talked about the incident that had people concerned for her health.

    >> as soon as i opened my mouth, i knew something was wrong. i knew what i wanted to say, but i didn't have the words to say it.

    >> reporter: branson was reporting live after the grammys when something went terribly wrong.

    >> well, a very, very, heavy -- [ garbled speech ]

    >> reporter: branson said nearby paramedics came to her aid, checking vital signs, her temperature and taking blood.

    >> to be honest with you, i started crying right away. i was scared. i was embarrassed. i was terrified and confused. confused. what had just happened?

    >> reporter: along with garbled speech, branson said she remembers losing feeling in her hands and face, but the word "stroke" never entered her mind.

    >> medical emergency was in my mind. something medically is going wrong.

    >> reporter: branson eventually saw a neurologist at ucla medical center who diagnosed her as having suffered a complex migraine which can mimic a stroke.

    >> it's like a migraine headache but has other features such as garbled speech or weakness on one side.

    >> reporter: branson said she's had migraines before and was battling a headache that night. she has a family history of migraines.

    >> i heard that serene branson 's mother at a young age suffered from migraines and there is a genetic component.

    >> reporter: branson was welcomed back to the station by colleagues and plans to be back to work soon.

    >> i am anxious and eager to get back to being at work. i'm ready to be telling the story and not be the story.

    >> reporter: branson called the entire experience surreal saying she wants to pursue her story. she doesn't want to be a part of the story or be the story, matt.

    >> amy, thank you very much.

updated 2/18/2011 8:30:25 AM ET 2011-02-18T13:30:25

A TV reporter who lapsed into gibberish during a live shot outside the Grammys said she was terrified when it happened and knew something was wrong as soon as she opened her mouth.

KCBS-TV reporter Serene Branson's incoherence Sunday fueled Internet speculation that she suffered an on-air stroke. But doctors at the University of California, Los Angeles where she went to get a brain scan and blood work done ruled it out. Doctors said she suffered a type of migraine that can mimic symptoms of a stroke.

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Branson told the station in an interview Thursday that she "started to get a really bad headache" but assumed she was just tired.

"At around 10 o'clock that night I was sitting in the live truck with my field producer and the photographer and I was starting to look at some of my notes," she said. "I started to think, the words on the page are blurry and I could notice that my thoughts were not forming the way they normally do."

Story: CBS says reporter fine after on-air incoherence

"As soon as I opened my mouth I knew something was wrong," Branson said. "I was having trouble remembering the word for Grammy," she said. "I knew what I wanted to say but I didn't have the words to say it."

The station quickly cut away, and she was examined by paramedics and recovered at home.

Most people with migraines don't have any warning. But about 20 to 30 percent experience sensations before or during a migraine attack."A migraine is not just a headache. It's a complicated brain event," said UCLA neurologist Dr. Andrew Charles, who examined Branson.

Most people with migraines don't have any warning. But about 20 to 30 percent experience sensations before or during a migraine attack.

The most common sensations include seeing flashes of light or zigzag patterns. In Branson's case, she felt numbness on the right side of her face that affected her speech, Charles said.

"She was actually having the headache while she was having these other symptoms," he said.

Branson told doctors she's had migraines since a child, but never suffered an episode like this before, Charles said.

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Branson, a Los Angeles native and two-time Emmy nominee, worked at the CBS affiliate in Sacramento before joining KCBS. Prior to that, she was a reporter and anchor at TV stations in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara.

A telephone message left with KCBS was not immediately returned Thursday.

Branson has been medically cleared to resume activities.

"She's totally normal. She's completely back to herself," Charles said.

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Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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