A Croatian girl recently came out of a coma having forgotten her native tongue but remembering German, her second language, perfectly fine. "Multiple areas of the brain intersect to encode both types of memory, but the two systems are generally distinct from each other. That makes it possible for a localized lesion, tumor or traumatic injury to wipe out one language but not another. Paradis suspects that the Croatian teenager suffered from edema, or swelling, that interfered with her ability to speak Croatian but not German. In cases like hers, he said, the native language usually returns when swelling goes down after a few weeks or months."