Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Woman with rare disease wakes up with British accent

Woman with rare disease wakes up with British accent

Dr. Toby Yaltho, a neurologist with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, says, "Foreign Accent Syndrome".

An Arizona woman who has now been diagnosed with an extremely rare brain disorder claims she went to bed one night with a awful headache, only to wake up speaking in a different accent. Several other sufferers of Foreign Accent Syndrome have captured worldwide attention in recent years, such as 48-year-old Terri White from Yorkshire in Northern England.

Meyers, a former Texas beauty queen living near Phoenix in Arizona, has never left the United States.

Michelle Meyers, who relocated to Buckeye, Arizona, said she went to bed with a "blinding headache" - only to arise the next day sounding more like Mary Poppins than a Southern pageant queen.

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FAS is known to cause a person to speak with foreign intonation while still speaking their native language. First Irish, then Australian.

"I started having problems with my voice".

Myers said she wants peopled to take her condition seriously. A headache left her speaking gibberish for a couple of days before her accent shifted.

In May 2015, Myers was rushed to the emergency room due to severe headache that lasted for days. "It's actually quite risky", Myers said. TIA happens when the blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked or reduced. Fewer than 100 people, including Myers, have ever been diagnosed. Typically seen in people who've suffered strokes or a brain injury, the disorder results in a sudden change to the language center of a person's brain and leaves them with a "foreign" accent.

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The most common cause of this rare condition is stroke or traumatic brain injury. In most cases, it accompanies neurological damage, a stroke, or any other unknown health issues that the patient might have.

Myers has another condition that could also be linked to her changing accents.

It turns out Meyers suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a disease that Ehlers-Danlos Support UK defines as "a group of thirteen individual genetic conditions, all of which affect the body's connective tissue". Symptoms of this condition range from mildly loose joints to life-threatening complications.

"When I was little girl I used to always go to my mom and say my bones hurt", Myers said.

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