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MILD STROKE CHANGES WOMAN'S ACCENT

A Scottish woman went to bed with a headache and woke up speaking with a South African accent, a British doctor said today.

Instead of her usual lilting Scottish brogue, the unidentified woman in her 50s had a completely different voice with an intonation more familiar in Cape Town than in Edinburgh.

Doctors say she had a minor stroke and now suffers from foreign accent syndrome, a rare condition in which patients acquire a completely different accent after suffering a stroke.

Only 12 previous cases have been reported.

Patients with the condition suffer damage to the left side of the brain, which controls speech. Therapy can help, but most patients find the condition very distressing because their friends and family have difficulty coming to terms with an entirely different accent.

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