American Woman Went To Bed With Headache; Woke Up With British Accent

A woman from Arizona has an unusual condition: some mornings, she wakes up with foreign accents. The change in speaking patterns is usually preceded by headaches.

To date, her accent has changed three times. Doctors say she has a rare neurological condition.

Michelle Myers has possibly one of the most puzzling conditions ever: Foreign Accent Syndrome. It may sound like something from a comedy movie, but it's a real thing, apparently.

In the past several years, Meyers, a mom of seven, has occasionally gone to bed with a headache and woken up with new speech patterns. Once she woke up with an Irish brogue.

Another time she woke up sounding like she was from Australia. Both times, the accents wore off in about a week and she went back to her regular American way of talking.

In 2015, however, Meyers, a former Texas beauty queen, woke up with a British accent, and it's stuck.

“Everybody only sees or hears Mary Poppins,” she says, noting that she doesn't understand it. “They send in the psychiatrist at the hospital and make sure you’re not a loon."

Doctors say that the issue could be the result of a stroke. Each time there was an accent change, Meyers suffered from blinding, incapacitating headaches.

There have only been about 100 people known to have been affected with FAS. Sometimes it's linked to strokes, sometimes to neurological traumas, sometimes it's been reported as an unusual symptom of other conditions, like multiple sclerosis.

There’s no single condition or situation that seems to link FAS patients together.  

Meyers has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of genetic disorders that affect connective tissue. It results in joint pain and fragility. It's possible that the FAS is somehow related to this condition.

“Some people think it’s physiological; others think it’s psychological,” said Myers. “People like me — we don’t care which one it is. We just really want to be taken seriously and if it is something that's going to hurt me, help me.”

Lisa Alamia, from Texas, went in for jaw surgery with a southern drawl, and woke up with a British accent.

"I was very shocked," Alamia told ABC News. "I didn't know how to take it. I was very confused. I said 'ya'll' all the time before the accent. Once I got the accent, I started noticing I'd say, 'You all."

Many people believed that Alamia was faking and just looking for attention. "It's such a rare condition that neurologists don't believe that this is a real condition," said Dr. Toby Yaltho of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates. "The big thing is to know that she's not faking it."

An unfortunate Norwegian woman is the first woman to have gotten attention for FAS back in the early 1900s. She was shunned by her entire community during World War II when she began speaking with a German accent.

She reportedly suffered from the accent change when she suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

Because it’s so rare, it’s hard for doctors to really understand it. Patients are sometimes treated with speech therapy to help them get back to their old way of speaking. Others are given behavioral therapy.

Until it’s better understood, there’s little else doctors can do.

Source: NY Daily News
Photos: YouTube, Facebook

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