Earlier this month, news was a-buzzing about South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson after he began slurring his speech and forgetting words in the middle of a conversation with reporters. He was first reported to have had a stroke, but doctors soon found out the senator was actually having a brain hemorrhage due to an arteriovenous malformation—a tangle of messed-up blood vessels—and they brought him in for emergency brain surgery. Not only was the senator's life at stake but also control of the Senate, as Johnson is a part of the Democrats' tiny 51-49 majority.
Arteriovenous malformations may have sounded familiar to Discover readers who read about the condition in the January 2006 Vital Signs column. Seeing as we just launched our Vital Signs podcast, we figured we'd podcast-ify that very topical column. So now, thanks to the power of the Internet, you can listen to the story unfold. (To listen to the podcast you can visit the Vital Signs page in iTunes or the podcast's Web page.)
If you like this episode you might consider subscribing—you'll get a new medical mystery delivered to your iPod every week (free of charge, of course).