Woman wakes up with foreign accent after dental surgery

Ayinde O. Chase – AHN News Editor

Portland, OR, United States (AHN) – An Oregon woman woke up after having oral surgery with a Transylvanian accent. Karen Butler had routine dental work and when she woke up didn’t realize anything unusual had happened until she heard and saw herself speaking on a recording.

Doctors diagnosed the 56-year-old with a rare neurological disease called foreign accent syndrome.

Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, medical director of Providence Stroke Center told Fox News, “What happens with foreign accent syndrome to the best of our understanding is that a very, very small part of the speech area is affected so that the normal intonation of speech gets altered.”

Often, the condition is associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, head injuries, and migraines.

Butler will likely not have her old northwestern accent return.

She is part of a small group who have suffered from this affliction. There have been just 60 recorded cases since 1941.

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