WHAT TEXTING SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAIN
Don’t shrug off sloppy messages from a loved one—“dystextia” (an inability to text coherently) may soon become a vital tool in diagnosing stroke. A report presented at a scientific conference described the case of a 40-year-old man who sent nonsensical texts to his wife while on a business trip. When doctors evaluated him at a hospital the next day, he didn’t seem to have any of the usual language problems associated with stroke— until they gave him a smartphone and asked him to type “the doctor needs a new BlackBerry.” What he wrote: “Tjhe Doctor nddds a new bb.” Worse, the man didn’t notice any spelling errors. Doctors determined that he’d had an acute ischemic stroke, in which a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Because text messages are timestamped, they may even help establish when symptoms begin.