Speech Therapy

Recognizing Foreign Accent Syndrome

When the brain suffers a stroke, it can lead to various speech disorders. These disorders could to lead problems with speech articulation or cause specific amnesia or lead to other associated disorders like autism spectrum disorders. But, Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS), which is also the result of a brain stroke is one of the most peculiar disorders that the brain develops.

Foreign Accent Syndrome: Until the year 2009, there have been only 60 recorded cases of this syndrome. A very rarely occurring syndrome, people who suffer from brain insults sometimes can develop an accent that is very foreign.

Not necessarily would the accent be a previously known one, it can be a completely new one and from a place where the person has never been to before.

Detecting FAS: This disorder is very easy to spot, given the nature of it.

  • Firstly, the patient would start speaking in a bizarre accent completely which contradicts his/her usual tongue. For instance, a Kiwi could end up speaking Scottish accent and a Norwegian could suddenly start speaking in a German dialect.
  • Though not found or observed in all cases, people post a brain trauma would not only speak with an accent but can also start speaking the language itself despite no previous knowledge.
  • The development of this syndrome need not be immediate after a trauma. Any previous incidents of a head injury can lead to this disorder.
  • The language part of the human system is controlled by the left hemisphere in the brain. So any injury or a lesion in the brain’s left hemisphere can cause this problem.
  • Due to the development of a foreign accent, words that were used most commonly prior to the accent development could at once seem difficult to pronounce.
  • Studies have revealed that the speech would suffer a segmental and prosodic change i.e, the stress on syllables and the segmenting of vowels and consonants is bound to change.

When compared to most speech disorders the diagnosis and treatment options available for foreign accent syndrome are quiet effective. Upon a conclusive diagnosis of the disorder, treatment would include speech therapy, psychological counseling and also a constant check on the brain’s affected areas.

3 responses to Recognizing Foreign Accent Syndrome

  1. I have FA$ and No we do not eventually speak in the foriegn language. .it is only an acquired. prosidy defect usually. from. a stroke

  2. Hi Marie, I’m “stuck” with FAS too and not getting much help from the docs or universities. Maybe we can compare notes.

  3. In 1969 this happened to a young woman at college who had spent a night on an hallucinatory drug, LSD. She suddenly spoke with a spanish accent which persisted.

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