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Serene Branson on Migraines - A Year Later


At this point, it would be hard not to have seen the video of reporter Serene Branson having a Migraine on-air while reporting from last year's Grammy Awards.

At the time, nobody knew what was happening to her, including Miss Branson, and it was frightening. There she was - smiling for the camera, knowing exactly what she wanted to say, and she couldn't get the word "Grammy" to come out. Her speech became terribly garbled, leading people to speculate that she'd experienced a stroke.

When I spoke with Miss Branson last year, she told me she had been terrified, and as soon as she was off-camera, she started crying from fear.

There were so many conflicting news stories and headlines. The most common was that she had experienced a "complex" or "complicated" Migraine. (see Complex or Complicated Migraine - What Are They?) I knew she was in good hands since her doctor was Migraine specialist and researcher Dr. Andrew Charles. Miss Branson told me that her actual diagnosis had been Migraine with aura, but because of her symptoms, it had been described as "complex" or "complicated."

She also told me that her first impulse was to not want to talk to anyone or answer any questions about her Migraines. What changed her mind was all the supportive mail, email, and phone calls she received, especially those from other people with Migraine. She began to learn a bit about Migraines, how misunderstood the disease is, and the stigma many Migraineurs face. When the National Headache Foundation approached her about being a spokesperson for Migraine education and awareness, she accepted.

It's a year later, and yesterday, I watched an interview with Miss Branson talking about life with Migraines today. She says her experience was,

"... a big wake-up call to listen to my body and pay attention to my health."

She's also engaged to a very nice young man who told me last summer how much he admired how she got through the situation of having that Migraine on-air.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to catch up with Serene by watching this video of the interview I saw.

To Miss Branson - I'm glad you're still doing well. Thank you for speaking on our behalf. Congratulations on your engagement and best wishes for a long, happy life together!


CBS2 Los Angeles: Interview with Serene Branson. 2012.

Interviews: Teri Robert with Serene Branson. June 7, 2011; June 25, 2011.

Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD


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Teri Robert, 2011. Last updated September 25, 2011.


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 The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA)...

a patient-focused, patient-driven organization for patients with Migraine and
other headache disorders and their family, friends, and care partners.
Anyone interested in the concerns or patients with these disorders is welcome to join.

The AHMA exists to EASE the burden of Migraine and other headache disorders through Education, Awareness, Support, and Engagement.


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