Another Case Of Foreign Accent Syndrome

07.16.2010 · Posted in Medical Mystery

Foreign Accent Syndrome is not what happened when Madonna moved to England. It’s a peculiar change in the way someone’s voice sounds, making it sound like they have suddenly developed a foreign accent. Unfortunately, it seems to only happen as the result of some injury to the brain. Wait. Maybe that IS what happened to Madonna! No, she’s not that special. There are fewer than 100 cases reported worldwide. Despite the rarity, we reported on one woman’s story last month, and we have another to discuss this month.

According to the Telegraph, Ms. Bronwyn Fox of Invercargill, New Zealand, woke up one morning with a new accent said to be similar to a Welsh accent. Ms. Fox suffers from multiple sclerosis, and her doctor thinks two lesions on her brain are responsible for the new accent. Fox and her husband take the strange change in stride and say it can make an otherwise boring day a little more interesting.

Other people with this rare syndrome include Sarah Colville of Devon, England, who got her new Chinese-sounding accent as a parting gift from an especially nasty migraine headache; and Linda Walker of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, whose stroke left her with voice resembling a mix of Jamaican, French-Canadian, Italian, and Slovak accents.

Meowry Tyler MooreOne of my cats has taken to sounding an awful lot like Mary Tyler Moore saying “Ohhhh Loooouuuuu,” when he begs for treats, but I’m pretty sure it’s just him being weird and not some medically induced phenomenon.

– Julie


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