Foreign Accent Syndrome: Arizona woman awakes with a British accent

Glen Norman
February 15, 2018

According to Myers, there have been three separate instances where she has gone to sleep with a crippling headache only to find herself speaking with a new accent. The British accent is the latest in her freakish string of voice changes after she fell asleep with a headache, and she's understandably frustrated.

"I started crying and they realized something was really wrong", she said, India Times reported.

But she's not insane and she's not faking it, according to her doctors. It's an extremely rare condition that usually accompanies a stroke, neurological damage or other underlying medical issues. Myers also suffers from a condition that causes bruising and painful joints.

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Doctors have diagnosed the woman, who has seven children, with Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS).

Myers's situation is especially peculiar since her accent doesn't sound like a speech disruption-on the contrary, it comes across as quite refined.

Foreign Accent Syndrome is a speech disorder that makes the sufferer sound like they have an accent from another country, according to the University of Texas Dallas. The injury distorted the rhythm and melody of her speech, suggesting a foreign accent to those who heard her speak.

Meyers told ABC that she has had a busy medical history, with regular visits to the hospital and a stack of medical records stocked at home.

"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. It cleared itself up shortly thereafter, but a subsequent stroke sent her into a spiral of different accents that each last just weeks.

FAS cases had been documented around the world, with patients speaking changing accents from Japanese to Korean, British English to French, American English to British English, and Spanish to Hungarian.

With no further symptoms, she put the incident to the back of her mind, until it happened again three years later. Her condition is called Foreign Accent Syndrome. I feel like myself, it's just it comes out differently.

Unusual as it may be, Myers said she has come to terms with her speaking voice. "People like me - we don't care which one it is", she explained. She said she stays positive, but she wants people to take her seriously.

"Some people think it's physiological; others think it's psychological", she told the station.

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