Foreign Accent Syndrome

Topics: Traumatic brain injury, Stroke, Brain Pages: 9 (2184 words) Published: May 26, 2014

How foreign is Foreign Accent Syndrome?
Christina Stone
Mr. Link
Tuesday October 30, 2012

Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare medical disorder in which a patient develops what sounds like a foreign accent. Further investigation reveals a significant increase in the number of cases over the past few years. This essay will consider some of the reasons why Foreign Accent Syndrome also known as FAS has had such a rapid escalation. The question of whether FAS is a lifelong illness or one from which someone can easily recover has been investigated for decades. As a result, the issue has attracted a lot more discussion over the years. Because FAS is known to be the result of developmental problems or traumatic events, I believe it is less likely for a person to be cured after diagnosed with FAS. In this research paper, the role that strokes, traumatic injuries, and other variables play in patients with FAS will be investigated. This paper will also take an in depth look at FAS from a psychological perspective. Foreign Accent Syndrome is a disorder classified by a sudden change in one’s speech. FAS is most often caused by damage in the brain resulting from stroke or traumatic injuries. Impairment to the left temporal lobe, which controls auditory perception and long term memory, is also a cause of this disorder (Argynou & Doukas & Karanasios & Loukopoulou & Makridou & Tiligadas & Zampakis, 2011). Research from John Coleman and Jennifer Gurd focus on the increase in cases of FAS over the years; they also study different variables contributing to this disorder such as gender, age, stress and many other factors. After doing so these authors take an in depth look as to why cases of FAS have had such a rapid increase over the years (2006). Authors Hirai, Kato, Kobayashi, and Tsuruga focus on how psychiatric symptoms are often manifested in verbal expressions and how these expressions can be used to escape from daily conflicts and struggles. Consequently, family conflicts, death, and those living in dysfunctional environments can cause Foreign Accent Syndrome to occur (2008). The following literature reviews endeavor to support the hypothesis. In research articles from Miller, Taylor, Howe, and Read (2011), the study focuses on specific patients living day to day with FAS. One of the themes looked at in this article were coping strategies and adaptation (1053-1068). It is important to get an inside perspective of first hand cases of FAS to understand the severity of this disorder. As mentioned above, stroke and traumatic injuries are major causes of Foreign Accent Syndrome. Before scholars conducted case studies supporting the increase of FAS many people thought that this disorder was fake and even made up (2006); however after taking a closer look, researchers found out that FAS is in fact a real disorder. The results from surveys showed that a common denominator in these cases was that FAS occurred after patients suffered from strokes or traumatic brain injuries. Many of the recorded cases of FAS where the cause was because of a stroke or brain injury showed imaging that depicted an Ischemic temporal lesion in the language dominant left hemisphere (2011). An Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked. Since the brain depends on arties to bring fresh blood from the heart and lungs when blocked the brain cells cannot make enough energy and eventually stop working (PubMed Health, 2012, pg. 1). When a stroke such as Ischemic effects the language dominant left hemisphere of the brain the patient usually suffers from Aphasia which an impairment of language, this impairment effects language production and ability to speak which explains why some patients suffer from FAS. Because of the severity of strokes and the effects they have on the brain as well as the long and often times wearisome process of rehabilitation that comes after a stroke I believe that it is less...

Cited: Coleman, J., Gurd J. (2006). Journal of Neurolingulistics. Vol 19, issue 5. Pages 341-345. Retrieved from:
Karanasios, P., Loukopoulou, P., Zampakis, P., Tiligadas, T., Makridou, A., Doukas, V., & Argyriou, A. A. (2011). Foreign accent syndrome caused by a left temporal-parietal ischaemic stroke. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 23(5), 249-251. doi:10.1111/j.1601- 5215.2011.00551.x
Kuschmann, A., Lowit, A., Miller, N., & Mennen, I. (2012). Intonation in neurogenic foreign accent syndrome. Journal Of Communication Disorders, 45(1), 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.jcomdis.2011.10.002
Miller, N., Taylor, J., Howe, C., & Read, J. (2011). Living with foreign accent syndrome: Insider perspectives. Aphasiology, 25(9), 1053-1068. doi:10.1080/02687038.2011.573857
Hirai N., Kato S., Kobayashi T., & Tsuruga K., (2008). Foreign Accent Syndrome in a Case of dissociative (conversion) disorder. 110(2): 79-89
Burke S., Parker J., Reeves R., (2007). Characteristics of Psychotic Patients with Foreign Accent Syndrome; 19: 70-76
Lukas, R (MD). Foreign Accent Syndrome. In Aurora Health Care (2012). Retrieved October 26, 2012, from:
Ziere, D. (MD). Stroke. In PubMed Health (2012).Retrieved October 26,2012 from,
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