CLARIFICATION: In a news release sent Tuesday, Nov. 18, the patient diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome was identified as Tiffany Noell. The University of Central Florida learned late Tuesday night that the patient, whose legal name is Judi Roberts, has used the pseudonym Noell for a few years to protect her family from being embarrassed. She has been treated under this name and is in the process of making it her legal name but has not yet submitted the paperwork.
ORLANDO, Nov. 19, 2003 - A University of Central Florida speech expert has diagnosed an extremely rare disorder in a Sarasota woman that caused her to speak with a British accent after she suffered a stroke.
The case of Foreign Accent Syndrome - a disorder linked to stroke-related or other internal brain injuries that leaves affected people with a foreign-sounding accent - is one of fewer than 20 reported worldwide since 1919, according to Jack Ryalls, professor of communicative disorders at UCF.
In November 1999, 57-year-old Judi Roberts of Sarasota suffered a stroke that left the right side of her body paralyzed. She was also unable to speak. After months of physical therapy, she was no longer paralyzed and was able to speak with some difficulty. Her speech gradually improved during the next year until she was speaking with the same fluency as she had before the stroke. However, instead of the familiar New York accent she once had, she spoke with a British accent.
Roberts had never traveled to Britain. She didn't recognize her own voice. Her friends and family didn't understand it, and strangers constantly asked her where she was from. One doctor told her she was not working hard enough to get her old voice back.
"At times I thought I was losing my mind," Roberts said. "Without the support of my internist and therapist, I wouldn't have been able to cope."
This year, four years after her stroke, she received an e-mail from a friend who foPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Tom Evelyn
University of Central Florida
. British hospitals need clinical ethicists2
. Lack of clinical trial participation may contribute to lower survival rates3
. Obtaining patient consent for clinical audit is unworkable without extra resources4
. Community-based care beats standard clinic in lowering heart5
. Sharing clinical trial results with participants may be beneficial6
. Study examines lessons learned at Africas first public antiretroviral treatment clinic7
. Two years after gene therapy treatments, severe angina patients showed prolonged clinical benefit8
. PENN begins clinical trial of newest technology to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms9
. Most episodes of HIV blips not clinically significant in patients receiving HAART10
. NIAID seeks applicants to lead clinical trials units for revamped HIV/AIDS networks11
. New non-hormonal hot flash treatment set for clinical trial