Foreign Accent Syndrome: Woman With Headache Wakes Up With British Accent


Michelle Myers, a former Texas beauty queen who's never left the U.S., sounds like she's from jolly old England. In the past, a headache once caused her to speak with an Australian accent and another time an Irish accent, but both disappeared after about two weeks, Chicago Tribune reported.

Doctors believe the unusual occurrence is linked to the severe headaches Myers was experiencing at the time, she told ABC affiliate KNXV.

Rather than picking up the accent while studying overseas, the mum of seven suffers from a rare medical condition diagnosed as Foreign Accent Syndrome - a condition usually associated with neurological damage.

Michelle said: "When I was a little girl I used to always go to my mom and say, 'my bones hurt, '".

Myers suffers from a condition known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which includes rupturing blood vessels, easy bruising and painful joints.

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The former beauty queen has the love and support of her seven children even if there are people who are questioning the truthfulness of her claims. The disorder typically occurs after strokes or traumatic brain injuries damage the language centre of a person's brain - to the degree that their native language sounds like it is tinged with a foreign accent, according to the Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.

People considered her a lunatic at first.

According to experts in the field, what she's suffering from is a very real thing and not fabricated in the least.

FAS was first documented in 1907, when French neurologist Pierre Marie surveyed a Parisian man who suffered a stroke and suddenly spoke with an Alsatian accent, although he was not from the French-German border region where the language is spoken. Each time, the accent lasted about a week.

With such a rare disease, there aren't many resources dedicated to research.

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It's unclear precisely what triggered Myers' symptoms - or if she actually has FAS or something else entirely. It is possible that this might have led to Myers's unusual change in accents. "I feel like a different person".

Above all, she wants people to take her seriously saying: "Some people think it's physiological; others think it's psychological".

And one particular person seems to come to mind when she speaks.

Curiously, the woman, identified as Astrid the journal, was able to hum well-known sounds in cadence, but it was her speech that showed discordant rhythm. Meyers said, adding that more people should take the condition seriously.

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