Letter: Accent syndrome

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Sir: Foreign accent syndrome (Seen and Heard, 13 October) is one of the most puzzling communication disorders which may follow a stroke. You say there are only 12 documented cases; there are many more. Our helpline has received several inquiries.

The disorder is not a true "foreign accent" but results from changes to intonation and vowel quality. It is never identical with the accent concerned, but mimics features of it.

Foreign accent syndrome may be one of the milder disorders of communication which can result from damage to the cerebral cortex. At the other end of the spectrum is total loss of language (aphasia) in which the person is unable to understand language, speak, read, write or gesture.

CHARLOTTE PAINTER

Action for Dysphasic Adults

London SE1

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