Everything You Need to Know About Foreign Accent Syndrome

How you can wake up with a different accent.

Lisa Alamia, of Rosenberg, Texas, woke up from jaw surgery in December with an unexpected side effect: a new British accent. She has received nationwide attention for her rare FAS diagnosis.

"I was very shocked," Alamia told ABC News. "I didn't know how to take it. I was very confused. I said 'ya'll' all the time before the accent. Once I got the accent, I started noticing I'd say, 'You all."

There are only about 100 documented cases of FAS, which was first described in 1907. A famous case involved a Norwegian woman shunned in her community when she developed a German accent after a traumatic brain injury during the Nazi occupation of Norway in World War II. A Scottish case published last month in Practical Neurology describes another instance of a woman who, like Alamia, developed FAS after a minor dental procedure, trading her Scottish accent for a German one.

"It's such a rare condition that neurologists don't believe that this is a real condition," said Dr. Toby Yaltho of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates, who treated Alamia. "The big thing is to know that she's not faking it."

FAS can be treated in a variety of ways, from behavioral therapy to speech therapy to anti-anxiety medications, and some patients do recover their natural speech, according to medical literature.

Dr. Akshay Ganju is a resident in emergency medicine at Emory University in Atlanta. He is currently a resident in the ABC News Medical Unit.