Michelle Myers, a 45-year-old woman in Arizona, United States has been diagnosed with the Foreign Accent Syndrome. FAS is a lesser-known speech disorder in which the patient loses the ability to talk in the native accent. The syndrome is caused as a result of a brain injury and the speech pronunciations end up sounding like foreign accents.
According to a report, Michelle goes to sleep with acute headaches and wakes up with a foreign accent. She said that her Irish and Australian accents disappeared after two weeks but the British accent reportedly remained for two years.
Doctors suggested that Myer’s case was most likely caused as a result of a side effect of a hemiplegic migraine which produces symptoms similar to that of a stroke. “It’s actually quite dangerous,” Myers said. “It looks just like a stroke, but it’s not a stroke. They don’t know how or what triggers it.”
She was also quoted as saying, “People would think it was a joke, saying things like, ‘You sound like a Spice Girl.’ It was hard, because I was really struggling. I have come to terms with the fact I might sound like this forever. I realise it’s a part of me now.”
Sheila Blumstein, a linguist from the Brown University, who has conducted extensive research on the syndrome said that a Virginia woman fell down a staircase which affected her brain and she woke up speaking in a Russian accent. The injury caused her brain to curtail pronunciations for “this” and “that,” resulting in foreign-sounding “dis” and “dat.”