Arizona Woman Wakes Up With Foreign Accent

Discussion in 'Unexplained Mysteries' started by nivek, Apr 14, 2019 at 12:44 PM.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    Messages:
    11,710


    Arizona Woman Wakes Up With Foreign Accent

    Two years ago, Arizonian Michelle Myers went to bed with a severe headache. The next morning, she woke up speaking with a British accent—and it hasn't gone away since.

    The situation may seem almost laughable, but as ABC affiliate KNXV reports, Myers suffers from a rare medical condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) in which patients develop a foreign accent without needing to ever spend time overseas.

    Only about 100 cases of the disorder have ever been documented. As The Washington Post’s Alex Horton writes, FAS typically occurs after strokes or traumatic brain injuries that affect the part of the brain that recognizes language. This alters the way the person speaks (the rhythm and tone, for example), causing their speech to sound like a foreign accent. FAS can also be caused by psychological reasons, reports ABC News, like anxiety or depression.

    This wasn't the first time Myers, 45, woke up with an accent. She had two earlier bouts with the disorder, once speaking with an Australian accent and the other an Irish accent. Each time the effects only lasted around two weeks before disappearing, but her British accent has now stuck around for two years, The Post reports.

    “Everybody only sees or hears Mary Poppins,” Myers told KNXV. Myers has never left the country.

    Myers also suffers from Ehlers-Danlos, a condition marked by elastic skin, extreme flexibility in the joints and possible rupturing of blood vessels. Though it’s unclear exactly why she developed the speech disorder, her doctors think it’s a side effect of a hemiplegic migraine, which produces symptoms that are similar to a stroke, The Post reports.

    "It's such a rare condition that neurologists don't believe that this is a real condition," Toby Yaltho, a neurologist at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates, told ABC in 2016 after treating another case of FAS. "The big thing is to know that she's not faking it," he said of his patient at the time.

    The condition was first documented in 1907, when a French neurologist saw a patient who suffered a stroke and suddenly began speaking with an Alsatian accent, a different region than where the man lived, Horton writes. It wasn't until 1982, that the term “foreign-accent syndrome” was coined by neurolinguist Harry Whitaker, Julie Beck wrote for The Atlantic in 2016. And though rare, cases of the speech disorder have since been documented around the world, according to the Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.

    In some cases of the psychologically-induced FAS, Beck reports, there’s no identifiable brain damage but patients tend to have a psychiatric disorder, like bipolar disorder, in addition to the accent.

    Myers continues to suffer pain from her Ehers-Danlo disorder. She's currently trying to find treatment for the condition.

    .
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Awesome Awesome x 1
  2. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    Messages:
    11,710
    Incredible this is occurring because of migraines, she certainly sounds British English with her current accent lol...

    ...
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Awesome Awesome x 1
  3. Shadowprophet

    Shadowprophet Truthiness

    Messages:
    1,940
    Well, Bless me Bagpipes, The first thought I've had is, She is having seizures in her Broca's area possibly due to a stroke or even a form of epilepsy.

    Language center - Wikipedia

    I've always found cases like this to be fascinating though, In some cases like this, People have demonstrated the ability to speak languages they previously did not know. It's an amazing point of discussion to be sure.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Awesome Awesome x 1
  4. Double Nought Spy

    Double Nought Spy Easily Amused

    Messages:
    545
    I knew a guy who was in a terrible car wreck back in the early 80s. When he came to in the hospital, he began chattering away in French. He did not speak French before the accident. He had severe injuries, but recovered eventually. I don't know how long he was able to speak French.
     
    • Awesome Awesome x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  5. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    Messages:
    11,710
    Did he ever travel to France previously?...

    ...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Double Nought Spy

    Double Nought Spy Easily Amused

    Messages:
    545
    Nope. Apparently he was quite fluent. I don't recall any other details. Everyone seemed to just shrug and it was soon forgotten. I wasn't there of course, but I knew the family well. I think the person who told me about it was the brother of someone else in the same car, who was the only one to escape injury.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. coubob

    coubob Celestial

    Messages:
    1,043
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page