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Oregon woman develops foreign accent after dental surgery

4 years ago June 05, 2011 Jun 5, 2011 Sunday, June 05 2011 Sunday, June 05, 2011 2:43:22 PM CDT in News
Source: Associated Press

SALEM, Ore.- She has a British-sounding accent, but she's never been to Europe. Karen Butler woke up from dental surgery one day talking funny.

A year and a half later her "foreign" accent remains, and her story has traveled around the world.

The 56-year-old tax consultant from Toledo, Ore. found her life transformed by the dental procedure, which left her with dentures, and - depending on whom you ask - an Eastern European, Swedish or British accent.

Butler had several of her teeth removed in November 2009 because of gingivitis. A week later the swelling had gone away, but she still sounded strange.

As weeks stretched on, Butler did some online research. She diagnosed herself with Foreign Accent Syndrome, a medical condition with only a few dozen documented cases.

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