Karen Butler is from Newport, Oregon but she speaks with an Irish accent. Though, she did not acquire it from spending time across the Atlantic. She picked it up at the dentist’s office.
Butler explained recently on the Today Show, she to the dentists’ for a surgical procedure about a year and a half ago. When she recovered from the anesthesia, the funny voice she was speaking with seemed to be a normal reaction to the procedure, along with the swelling and soreness that is. But as time went on, she healed from the surgery, her body returned to normal yet the voice did not go away.
The culprit may is an extremely rare condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome, triggered by a stroke or brain damage.
Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, medical director of the Providence Stroke Center in Oregon, said on “Today”:
“It’s so rare — less than 100 cases ever reported — that the average neurologist, even a stroke neurologist, would not see a case in their lifetime.”
The condition remains very mysterious, however, the best known case is probably of 30-year-old Georg Herman Monrad-Krohn, who picked up a German accent after being hit by a shrapnel in Oslo from a German air raid in 1941.
Some reports have indicated the condition can clear up over time, NBC’s chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman said during the segment. However, Butler is not demanding a cure, she exactly enjoys it.
“It’s just like a new toy.”