Migraine gives woman French accent
Tuesday 14 September 2010
A serious migraine can lead to nausea, sensitivity to light and even temporary paralysis of limbs, but for one woman it resulted in a foreign accent.
Kay Russell, 49, went to bed with a severe migraine and when she woke up found she was speaking with a French twang.
The grandmother, from Bishop's Cleeve near Cheltenham, is thought to be one of only 60 people in the world known to suffer from foreign accent syndrome, a condition which damages the part of the brain that controls speech and word formation.
They believe it is triggered when tiny areas of the brain linked with language, pitch and speech patterns are damaged.
Speaking to the Gloucester Echo, Mrs Russell said: "As a sufferer of this syndrome, you are not trying to speak in an accent, it is a speech impediment.
"Whatever accent you hear, it is in the ears of the listener."
Mrs Russell is most commonly mistaken for French or eastern European.
She continued: "It also affects my hands and makes me write with a foreign accent. For example, I say "peoples", not "people", and that is how I would write it.
"You lose your identity and an awful lot about yourself. I feel like I come across as a different person."
She has suffered with migraines for 20 years.
After one bad migraine she was left with slurred speech for two weeks and made an appointment to have an MRI scan and see a neurologist.
Then on January 4 she woke up with a French accent.
Foreign accent syndrome can last for days, weeks, months, years or forever, and there is no known cure.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Life & Style blogs
How to carve a pumpkin for Halloween with this step-by-step tutorial
Five year old British boy becomes youngest ever qualified computer specialist
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
Woman successfully sues Google for showing her with 'part of her breast exposed' on Street View
Happy Halloween! Google celebrates All Hallows' Eve with Doodle
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...
£19200 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...