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Jaw surgery changes woman’s accent

Lisa Alamia

HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston-area woman’s accent sounds completely different since she underwent jaw surgery in December, and doctors say she might have a neurological condition called foreign accent syndrome.

In a KTRK-TV video posted online, Lisa Alamia’s (al-uh-MEE’-uh) accent swings between various British accents and a faint Australian twang.

Foreign accent syndrome is a rare medical condition that can result from trauma or an injury to the area of the brain that controls speech. The cause is often unknown, but it has been linked to strokes, head injuries and psychiatric conditions. Speech therapy can help patients restore their usual accents.

Dr. Toby Yaltho says he believes she has the rare condition.

Alamia says she knows some people are skeptical and that she hopes to have her true accent back soon.

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