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Foreign Accent Syndrome: Rare Head Injury Malady

Traumatic brain injuries can leave its victims with a wide range of serious, life-changing, and sometimes odd disabilities and conditions. Just ask 45-year-old Robin Jenks Vanderlip, a Fairfax, Virginia woman who suffered a head injury after falling down a flight of stairs two years ago. When Vanderlip awoke, she was speaking with a Russian accent, to the surprise of everyone, including herself. Vanderlip doesn’t remember every visiting Russia, having an interest in Russia, or even hearing the accent before her fall injury took place.

Virginia health professionals determined that Vaderlip suffered from a very rare condition that affects brain injury victims after an accident: foreign accent syndrome. Since its acceptance in 1941, there have been 60 reported cases of foreign accent syndrome – all in relation to severe brain trauma, such as car crashes, migraines, falls, and other accidents. In many cases, sufferers of foreign accent syndrome do not recover their normal voice, with some sufferers keeping their accents for decades.

Injury victims understand all too well how a serious accident, such as a slip and fall or a car accident, can change their lives forever and foreign accent syndrome is an apt example of this fact. While some wounds heal and some pain can be forgotten, head injury symptoms and consequences can last a lifetime and can change the scope of your life in utterly unexpected ways.

If you have suffered serious consequences of a head injury in Virginia – even if they differ from foreign accent syndrome, it is important to speak with an experienced head injury lawyer about your case.
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