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A case of foreign accent syndrome in a patient affected by a complex functional movement disorder

  • Benedetta Demartini
  • Diana Goeta
  • Orsola Gambini
Letter to the Editor
  • 10 Downloads

Dear Editor,

Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is a prosody and articulation disturbance that makes people talk in their mother tongue with an intonation that resembles the one of a foreign person [1]. FAS is a rare disorder; primarily, it has been described to be associated with left-hemisphere brain damage due to several causes (e.g., stroke or traumatic event) (organic FAS). Nevertheless, FAS has also been anecdotally described in patients affected by psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder or conversion disorder [2]; in these conditions, FAS is not associated with any brain damage and is clearly not consistent with any structural neurological condition (functional FAS) [2]. The differential diagnosis between organic and functional FAS is not always easy. However, the variability of the accent during examination, the absence of organic brain damage and the prompt improvement of the symptom are pathognomonic features of functional FAS [3].

Here, we report the case of a...

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics

The Ethics Committee of San Paolo Hospital reviewed and approved the study protocol.

Conflict of interests

Authors have no conflict of interests to declare.

References

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    Kurowsky KM, Blumstein SE, Alexander M (1996) The foreign accent syndrome: a reconsideration. Brain Lang 54:1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lee O, Ludwig L, Davenport R, Stone J (2016) Functional foreign accent syndrome. Pract Neurol 16:409–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Duffy JR (2016) Functional speech disorders: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. Handb Clin Neurol 139:379–388Google Scholar
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    Verhoeven J, Marien P, Engelborghs S, D'Haenen H, De Deyn P (2005) A foreign speech accent in a case of conversion disorder. Behav Neurol 16:225–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Critchley M (1964) Regional ‘accent’, demotic speech, and aphasia. Livre Jubil. Docteur Ludo Van Bogaert, Bruxelles Les Ed. Acta Medica Belgica; 182–91Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della SaluteUniversita‵ degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Unità di Psichiatria, ASST Santi Paolo e CarloMilanItaly
  3. 3.“Aldo Ravelli” Research Center for Neurotechnology and Experimental Brain TherapeuticsUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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