Headache Gives British Woman a Chinese Accent

'Foreign Accent Syndrome' apparently a real thing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2010 4:25 PM CDT
Headache Gives British Woman a Chinese Accent
Migraines can do strange things to you.   (Shutterstock)

As if migraine sufferers didn't already have enough to worry about, a woman in Plymouth, England, recently had a headache so powerful that it replaced her British accent with a Chinese one. As ridiculous as it sounds, doctors say she actually has a rare condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome, which occurs when the part of the brain that controls speech is damaged, reports the Daily Mail, your go-to source for weird stories about medicine and language.

The woman, Sarah Colwill, 35, developed the accent after a migraine so bad she had to call an ambulance. Now she's undergoing speech therapy to try to bring back her original voice. “'I have never been to China,” she says. “It is very frustrating and I just want my own voice back, but I don't know if I ever will. … I have had my friends hanging up on me because they think I'm a hoax caller.” (More migraines stories.)

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