Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)
What is Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)?
Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is speech disorder that causes a sudden change to speech so that a native speaker is perceived to speak with a “foreign” accent.
FAS is most often caused by damage to the brain caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Other causes have also been reported including multiple sclerosis and conversion disorder and in some cases no clear cause has been identified.
What are the symptoms of Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)?
As the name suggests, the sole symptom of FAS is speaking in a foreign accent.
What causes Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)?
Case studies have demonstrated that FAS instances developed after brain injuries – including strokes, head trauma, and migraines.
How is Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) diagnosed?
A team of medical professionals should collaborate to diagnose and treat a suspected case of FAS. An ideal team includes: Neurologist, Radiologist, Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologist, and Speech-Language Pathologist.
When working with a speech-language pathologist, the first step is a thorough assessment which includes:
- a full case history to gather information about exposure to foreign language
- education level
- medical and family history.
Also important is an examination of oral structures and standardized tests of language and speech intelligibility. Samples of conversational speech and oral reading are used for in-depth analysis of individual speech patterns.
What are the treatments for Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS)?
FAS can be treated in a variety of ways, from behavioral therapy to speech therapy to anti-anxiety medications, and some patients do recover their natural speech, according to medical literature.