What is Foreign Accent Syndrome?
What Causes Foreign Accent Syndrome?FAS or foreign accent syndrome is basically a speech disorder and since speech is controlled by the brain, the main causes for FAS are usually linked to the brain. The main causes could be:
- Injury to the brain
- Brain stroke
- Brain developmental issues
- Multiple sclerosis
- Conversion disorder
A classic example of this is Sarah Colwill a British lady who after an attack of migraine woke up with a Chinese accent. This was called a Chinese foreign accent disorder.
How do you Diagnose Foreign Accent Syndrome and what are the Symptoms?The patients usually develop this syndrome suddenly. The main symptoms include:
- Some common language changes include Spanish to Hungarian, American English to British English, and Japanese to Korean etc.
- Change in pronunciation of vowels and use of consonants.
- Sometimes using the word “uh” along with a lot of words.
- Some voice errors like pake instead of a bake.
- Joining wrong sentences together
Treatment & PreventionSince this is a very rare disorder and mainly linked to the brain and speech, the treatment is also very symptomatic. If there is a brain injury, stroke or hemorrhage the primary treatment goal should be to treat the condition first. Other strategies include:
- Counseling from a psychologist will help to overcome the embarrassment and face society more confidently.
- Speech therapy from a therapist who can help to bring a change in the accent and get you back to speaking in the native accent again.
- FAS itself is a rare condition but if there is a history of strokes in the family, it is important to follow a few steps to prevent the onset of FAS.
- Regular health checks and to keep blood pressure under control
- Exercise regularly and keep a check on weight
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- A low dose of a blood thinner like aspirin can prevent any clots from occurring.