As medical oddities go, this incident stands out: A lifelong resident of Oregon went to the dentist for surgery and awakened from sedation speaking in a British, or somewhat-British, accent.
The 56-year-old woman appeared Thursday on NBC’s "Today," answering questions in what this MSNBC story describes as “an odd mixture of Irish, Scottish and northern British, with perhaps a dash of Australian and South African for good measure.”
Some speculate that she may have foreign accent syndrome, a rare but real speech disorder. It’s most often caused by a stroke, but can also be caused by a blow to the head, brain hemorrhage or multiple sclerosis.
A person’s speech is still understandable, but the rhythm is unusual, according to a University of Texas at Dallas primer on the disorder. People may have trouble pronouncing consonant clusters or elongate their vowels.