American cancer patient develops 'uncontrollable Irish accent'

American cancer patient develops 'uncontrollable Irish accent'
Footballer Erling Haaland does impression of a Yorkshire accent

An American patient being treated for cancer developed an “uncontrollable” Irish accent during treatment.

The anonymous male in his 50s was being treated by doctors at Duke University in Durham, NC for prostate cancer when the unusual speech pattern began.

According to a report in the BMJ Case Reports, a healthcare journal, the man began to speak with an “Irish brogue accent” despite having never lived in or even visited the country.

In a case that is known as foreign accent syndrome (FAS), the unusual speech pattern began around two years after he was diagnosed with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.

The patient had no psychiatric diseases before he began speaking in an Irish accent, but it was noted that he had lived for a brief time in England and had Irish friends and family members.

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The report was co-authored by researchers Amanda Broderick, Matthew K Labriola, Neal Shore and Andrew J Armstrong, who explained: “His accent was uncontrollable, present in all settings and gradually became persistent.”

It’s hypothesised by the experts that the man’s accent came on due to a paraneoplastic neurological disorder that may have been set off when the patient’s immune system was fighting his cancer.

According to the report, the man’s immune system likely attacked parts of his brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves or muscle, causing the onset of FAS.

The man also developed paralysis in his legs and arms over time, which experts say is a sign of paraneoplastic syndrome, and eventually, the patient died.

The report said: “To our knowledge, this is the first case of FAS described in a patient with prostate cancer and the third described in a patient with malignancy.”

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