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There are some speech disorders related to communication and language processes that cannot go unnoticed for their strangeness.
One of them is Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, of genetic origin and with a prevalence of 4 or 5 patients per 10 thousand people according to data from the Association of Aragonese Families with Tourette Syndrome Patients and Associated Disorders of Spain. But beware! The ignorance associated with this disorder can cause many other undiagnosed people to exist, so its incidence could increase to one every two hundred people, of course, presenting milder symptoms. Men are affected three to four times as often as women.
Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome
Its onset is usually evidenced between seven and ten years old and although the symptoms persist throughout life only 10% of those affected present a progressive condition.
What are the symptoms?
Compulsive tics appear that can be from simple facial movements such as winking or grimacing; more complex tics like crouching or jumping to vocal tics. In the latter case, a triad is usually seen: multiple tics, echolalia (uncontrolled impulse to repeat the words as an echo) and coprolalia (impulse that leads them to say obscenities). This tic is particularly embarrassing because the person is unable to control expletives, especially in public places and when he feels nervous; so, he repeats the obscenities again and again until he feels that the inner tension relaxes.
Quite often people affected by this disorder also suffer from depression, phobias, learning disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and self-aggression since sometimes the tics lead them to repeatedly hit the head against an object or cause skin lesions due to friction induced by tics.
The fundamental cause is still unknown although the most recent research indicates that it may be due to hyperactivity of the brain due to an excess of dopamine as well as difficulties with other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
Foreign Accent Syndrome
Another disease, extremely rare, is the Foreign Accent Syndrome, of which very few cases have been reported throughout history and worldwide. It is a rare disorder of neurological origin restricted to the motor systems of speech production, resulting from a stroke or brain trauma; although at present it is also being considered as one of the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis, according to a study published in the 2003 Journal of Neurology.
People suffering from this disorder speak their mother tongue with a foreign accent. This effect is unavoidable for the person himself and, due to his sudden appearance, often results in emotional problems related to the loss of personal identity and the sense of belonging to the community.
The first case known was in 1917 when a Parisian, as a result of a war wound, developed a Polish accent. But the most “famous” example comes from World War II when a young Norwegian woman was hit by a projectile fragment during a Nazi bombing and her speech acquired a strong German accent. As you can imagine this alteration caused her innumerable problems in his daily life to be identified as German.
Other cases have been reported, the strangest being the change of the English accent for the Nordic, the Argentine accent for the Slavic and the English accent for the Chinese.
According to a research carried out in the Neurology Service of the French Hospital “Vladimiro Sinay” this disorder is a result of a damage to the left pre-rolling fissure, the primary motor cortex or the premotor cortex. Traumatic brain injury does not cause the person to acquire the accent but rather modifies speech patterns, changing the length of the syllables, altering the tone or pronouncing certain sounds wrong. The speech is perfectly understandable for those who listen and those who experience the syndrome do not assume the typical role of patients but face the difficulties of a foreign speaker.