Exchanging her overbite for a British accent was not the result Rosenberg, Texas resident Lisa Alamia expected from her jaw surgery.
But a rare neurological disorder — foreign accent syndrome — resulted from nerve damage after Lisa Alamia underwent jaw surgery to correct an overbite, according to a report from CBS Houston.
Now, chatting with strangers in her town of Rosenberg, Texas, is no simple matter, Alamia said. “People who don’t know me, they’re like, ‘Hey, where are you from?'”
Alamia told CBS Houston she can’t say many words the same way anymore. But the good-natured ribbing from her family and friends helps her take it all in stride.
“‘Mum’ is probably the one word I notice right away,” Alamia said.
CBS Houston shared that fewer than 100 people worldwide have been diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome over the last century, according to experts at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.
A 2015 book, “Foreign Accent Syndromes: The Stories People Have to Tell,” (Psychology Press) by Jack Ryalls and Nick Miller, two professors who study speech disorders, highlights a number of unusual cases and how patients and their families struggled to adjust.