Oregon Woman with Foreign Accent Syndrome

Imagine waking up from surgery and when you speak, you have a foreign accent.  It happened to Karen Butler, a licensed tax consultant from Newport, Oregon, after she woke from dental surgery.   She joined us along with her husband Glen and Ted Lowenkopf, MD, a neurologist with Providence Stroke Center to talk about the condition called Foreign accent syndrome (FAS).

FAS is speech disorder that causes a sudden change to speech so that a native speaker is perceived to speak with a “foreign” accent.  It is most often caused by damage to the brain caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Other causes have also been reported including multiple sclerosis and conversion disorder and in some cases no clear cause has been identified.

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