Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)- Is it Really a Disease?

Foreign accent syndrome (FAS)

It is highly unlikely to see people suddenly changing their accent. While it looks more like a ‘staged’ thing, Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is very much real and likely to happen after brain damage.

The chances to get this disease are extremely rare but it doesn’t mean that someone is faking it. This disease first caught attention back more than 100 years ago. Since 1907, there are nearly 100 people diagnosed with Foreign accent syndrome (FAS).

The fun part is that it doesn’t only affect the native English people, it can affect anyone, irrespective of language, location, and ethnicity.

The medical experts believe FAS has some link with Broca, the left side of the brain which regulates speech. The activity of this part can be affected by anything such as stroke, injuries, lesions, multiple sclerosis, etc.

The infection presents itself in an interesting way which often fools people around the patient. Usually, the accent of a person is built on the basis of the language that he speaks and how the people around him speak. This system is called a phonetic system which is true in all parts of the world.

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Accent can change over time but having it changed right after an accident or injury is unbelievable. FAS can change the accent of a person completely and he may also feel difficulty in pronouncing some cluster words and vowels. The pitch and tone of a person’s voice also change if FAS progresses in him.

While it may look like an attention-grabbing technique, little that people know is that it requires medical attention. Anything that changes the speech in any way is usually a sign of an underlying condition and requires medical help. Based on the symptoms and medical history, a doctor can diagnose a person with FAS. It is unlikely to self-diagnose it after an injury or trauma.

The doctor typically runs a number of tests particularly, an MRI or CT scan both of which are used to notice changes inside the brain. It is impossible for one doctor to diagnose a person with FAS. As there is more than one condition meet, a team of doctors including a speech-language pathologist, Neurologist and Psychologist may help.

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It is possible to treat the symptoms of Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) but if there are underlying conditions, it may be a problem. Otherwise, a combination of speech therapy, counseling, support group, and behavioral therapy may be used on a FAS patient.

In case there is an underlying medical condition, the patient is required to get treatment for the respective conditions first and then receive treatment for FAS.

Despite being rare, Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is an actual neurological disease that may go worse if ignored. In case a person changes a different accent or tone after an accident, the best is to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. In most cases it is treatable but without knowing what has caused it, it is hard to predict the recovery from FAS.

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