TBI and Foreign Accent Syndrome
On January 14, 2014, a Canadian blog reported on the strange case of a Canadian mother of two named Sharon Campbell-Rayment who went from speaking with a Canadian accent to speaking with a Scottish accent following a TBI from falling off a horse. Sharon has been diagnosed by her doctors with foreign accent syndrome. This condition is extremely rare and only has 60 documented cases in the world. It is said to be only associated with traumatic head injuries or stroke and has sometimes been associated with people who have multiple sclerosis.
The syndrome is not completely understood. It may come from changes to timing, intonation and tongue placement after experiencing an injury. Another possibility is recovery of ancestral speech mechanisms. Sharon did research after developing her Scottish accent, and learned that her family had deep roots in Scotland and came to Canada one hundred years ago.