Stroke: When it loses its native language


After a stroke, many things can happen. There are people who speak with a foreign accent, or even not your mother tongue but a foreign language. How can that be?

What can happen to our center after a stroke?

The Chinese girl Liu Jiayu speak after a stroke, suddenly, only English. The woman from the Chinese Hunan province is responding to the Chinese question according to their age: “Ninety-four” [94] she had long taught English.

An Englishman does not speak after a stroke, suddenly only Welsh, although he was for 70 years in Wales. And a German from Thuringia, after her stroke, suddenly, Swiss German, without that she was ever in Switzerland. There are still more cases in which people were talking after a stroke, suddenly, with a foreign accent, or even only in a foreign language.

Stroke: If a stroke

So can change our language after a stroke

These cases are rare, but there is an explanation, says Anja Lowit, who emigrated thirty years ago from Germany to the UK, to conduct research in linguistics and speech therapy. It also deals with changes in the language after a stroke.

The above-described cases can be divided into two categories. When people speak after the stroke, only a foreign language, is a Form of bilingual aphasia. If you speak with a seemingly foreign accent, it’s called “Foreign Accent Syndrome” (Foreign accent syndrome).

A stroke occurs when a certain region of the brain is no longer perfused with blood. Language changes, but need not necessarily occur only after a stroke. An American student has spoken after a head injury at a Football game and a short coma for about once, only Spanish.

Lowit tells of the case of a British woman, who spoke after a severe migraine with a seemingly French accent, or even another patient, who spoke after a vaccination and a one-week illness with a foreign accent.

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Stroke what are the symptoms?

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Stroke what are the symptoms?

Suddenly a foreign accent

The Foreign Accent Syndrome is speech a mixture of and speech disorders, and is pronounced different in each patient. The said Briton had not copied this really a French accent. Their other emphasis, and pronunciation, and possibly also grammatical errors in the result of their impact sounded incurred simply in the ears of the British as a French accent.

In the English word “garage”, for example, you said the “ge” at the back soft, as in French, and the second syllable with a long a. stressed it was from the English garage with the accent on the first syllable of a French-sounding “garage”.

The Affected can not simply make certain Sounds as well, or search for words and right emphases. The ascription of the foreign accent happens through the environment, says Lowit.

The unevenness in the language of sound in the ears of the people, then maybe a Russian or Chinese accent. If you ask different people, be attributed to the patients might also have different accents.

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How dangerous is a Mini-stroke?

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How dangerous is a Mini-stroke?

Foreign language instead of mother tongue

But what if you’re just talking with a foreign-sounding accent, but even in a different language? In this case, the bilingual aphasia, the language must have been learned beforehand, says Lowit. There are different forms.

Most of the people can speak all existing languages, with all different degrees may be affected. In rare cases, stroke patients, only the mother’s language, but the language not. Some people are not able to only the foreign language but their mother tongue for the time being.

In very rare cases, patients may speak in a day, even just the one language and the next, and only the other. If you can’t speak a language, this does not necessarily mean that you can’t understand.

We can imagine our brain like a closet, in which different things are, says Lowit. There are in the Cabinet, an area for the socks, as there are in the brain for language.

The view that foreign language and mother tongue are located in completely different regions of the brain, is outdated, she says. But you can imagine it as the socks are sorted by colors. A color standing for a language.

Monday English Tuesday English

Researchers have been trying for a long time, these different fault to explain the images. Simply put, you can’t imagine the brain after a stroke, enough power to all of the previous Connections at the same time and quickly build up. And depending on which Impulse gets to the brain, then perhaps it is easier to speak only one language.

If a bilingual person, as the researcher Lowit itself, suffers a stroke and is aphasic, you could set up the theory that the brain is more likely to build Connections to their mother tongue, because they have this first learned.

Another theory would be that it would be easier to reach her second language, English, because you have this spoken in the past 30 years, much more frequently. But it could also come after a stroke that Monday is stimulated by a Person, an image, a thought, rather English, and the brain of the day remains, but on another day the German language is activated.

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After the stroke – what next?

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After the stroke – what next?

Which is better?

In most cases of bilingual aphasia, both of the languages. After a stroke, certain regions of the brain are dead, but depending on their age, can use the brain to other areas to take over the tasks of the dead Region. Supports this should be the best therapy, says Lowit.

In Foreign Accent Syndrome, it is important in the therapy of several specialist. A psychological therapy can be important, because with the loss of one’s own kind, often a crisis of identity goes hand in hand. The best types of therapy are still being researched, but it would be difficult, because the cases are relatively rare.

Language disorders in old age could occur not only in the case of a stroke, but also in certain forms of dementia, so the Find of words, grammar or pronunciation are impaired. The difference is that in stroke the loss is very drastic, and then it goes uphill.

In the case of dementia, it often goes gradually downhill. In any case, it is important to one or more specialists to consult, familiar with the topic, so Lowit.

More: stroke and dementia often follows


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