Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

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

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

Michelle Myers, a former Texas beauty queen who's never left the United States of America, sounds like she's from jolly old England. In fact, it began back in 2010 when Myers tried to sleep off a headache only to wake up with a garbled Irish accent.

The British accent has stayed with her for the past two years.

Myers, who said she also suffers from Ehlers-Danlos, a condition that makes skin elastic and joints flexible to the point of dislocation, is now seeking treatment for her rare condition, with the hope of being cured.

She was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome.

She told the ABC affiliate in Phoenix that she suffers from Ehlers-Danlos, a condition that makes skin elastic and joints flexible to the point of dislocation; it can also rupture blood vessels.

Looking back at how she used to be is hard, Myers says.

It turns out that Michelle Myers does have a medical history that would lend itself to Foreign Accent Syndrome and cause the voice changes after she fell asleep with a headache. 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. Best her doctors can tell, it also turned her British. It is usually linked to a stroke or neurological trauma or impairment.

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However, this is the first time an accent has lasted more than a week.

Her life has been a series of trips in and out of the hospital, and she has a well-documented condition of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. And the next, the mum woke up to find herself speaking with an Australian accent. I feel like myself, it's just it comes out differently. It seems that this has led to her talking in three different accents until now.

In Myers' case, she woke up sounding like she spoke British English, as opposed to the American English she has spoken all her life.

"I'm sad", she said, watching an old video of her speaking normally.

"Some people think it's physiological; others think it's psychological", she said.

Fewer than 100 people have been diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome in the past 100 years, according a Mayo Clinic Health Systems' neurologist. "We just really want to be taken seriously and if it is something that's going to hurt me, help me", declares Myers.

A U.S. woman woke up one morning with a British accent and has had it ever since due to a rare medical condition.

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