Woman has British accent after medical procedure


Myers told KNXV that this wasn't the first time she'd awoken with a different accent; throughout her life, she's temporarily spoken with Australian and Irish lilts for as long as two weeks.

Three times in the past seven years, she has gone to sleep with blinding headaches only to wake up with a different accent. But she's had the British accent the past two years.

"They send in the psychiatrist at the hospital and make sure you're not a loon", said Myers.

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 Myers says she's been taunted over her accent, with people saying she "sounded like a Spice Girl".

The Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome usually causes severe pain in the joints, bruises, and aches deep inside the bones. This is generally seen in people who have experienced strokes or brain injuries, and results in an abrupt change to the language center of a patient's brain, resulting in a "foreign" accent.

According to the University of Texas at Dallas, FAS is a type of speech disorder that can cause a sudden change to a person's speech so that the native speaker is perceived to speak with a foreign intonation or accent. According to doctors, this condition, although extremely rare, is indeed real.

And one particular person seems to come to mind when she speaks. "Rare diseases are very emotional".

She has been to the hospital more times than she can count and the stack of medical records she keeps in the house says she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

"It was a joke in my family that I'm bad at accents, so I think when they heard how good it was, they knew I wasn't kidding!" she said. It is possible that this might have led to Myers's unusual change in accents. "The person I am now has been through so much compared to this person".

Curiously, the woman, identified as Astrid L.in the journal, was able to hum well-known sounds in cadence, but it was her speech that showed discordant rhythm. "People like me - we don't care which one it is", she explained.

"Some people think it's physiological; others think it's psychological", she told the station. "We just really want to be taken seriously and if it is something that's going to hurt me, help me".