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An American woman has been diagnosed with the rare Foreign Accent Syndrome. The woman, Michelle Myers, 45, said that in 2015 she went to bed with a "blinding headache" and woke up with a British accent. The accent has remained with her ever since. Ms Myers said she has woken up speaking a variety of accents before. She was totally perplexed at waking up and speaking with an Australian or Irish accent. These disappeared after two weeks but the UK accent has remained. Myers told journalists that she found her condition, "really difficult to begin with". She said: "It was hard because I was really struggling. I have come to terms with the fact that I might sound like this forever. I realize it's part of me now."



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Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) is a disorder that typically occurs after strokes or traumatic brain injuries that damage the language center of our brain. It varies in the degree to which it affects someone's language and accent. In some cases, someone's native language sounds like it is tinged with a foreign accent; in other instances, rhythm, stress and pronunciation can completely change. The condition was first documented in 1907 by French neurologist Pierre Marie. It is a relatively rare condition. Only about 60 cases of FAS have been documented over the past century. One of these was a Japanese stroke patient who woke up sounding Korean, even though he had never been to Korea.

Sources:

  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/02/12/an-american-says-she-fell-asleep-with-a-headache-and-woke-up-with-a-british-accent/?utm_term=.83702325e4cf
  • https://www.livescience.com/61738-arizona-woman-wakes-up-with-british-accent.html
  • http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/arizona-woman-wakes-speaking-british-accent-article-1.3815970

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