Dystexia: Strange Text Messages Could Indicate a Stroke

Dystexia: Strange Text Messages Could Indicate a Stroke


More than 140,000 Americans die from strokes each year and it is the leading cause of serious, long-term disabilities. There are many signs of a stroke that most people are aware of. However, a new symptom has been discovered and it has to do with text messages. Confused? Keep reading to learn more about dystextia.

Dystexia is similar to aphasia, often seen in stroke victims. While aphasia is used to describe those who cannot speak coherently, those with dystexia might be able to speak fine, but the parts of the brain that control reading and/or writing are affected.

The first reported case was published in the JAMA Neurology journal in 2012. A pregnant woman, only 25 years old, was taken to the emergency room after she sent her husband odd messages. The messages seemed garbled and could have been dismissed as an overactive autocorrect feature or fumbling fingers. However, it turns out that it was more than that. The woman was diagnosed with a mild stroke, was treated and delivered a healthy baby.

Another case was that of a 40-year-old businessman who sent strange text messages while on a trip. Although he could read, write and speak normally, his text messages were disjointed and didn’t make much sense. To the patient, his text message looked fine. It turns out he had a stroke, although doctors were unable to determine exactly when it happened.

Dystexia in stroke victims is a new symptom and so far, only four cases have been reported, according to Yahoo. It is not well understood, but one thing is clear: Even if someone seems to be speaking, writing and reading just fine, if their text messages seem garbled and the person doesn’t see them that way, get them to an emergency room. If they are having a stroke, the earlier they are treated, the better outcome they have.