AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 1, 2018

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University of Pennsylvania Researchers Conduct Comprehensive Evaluation of Patients with Concussion-Like Symptoms Following Reports of Audible Phenomena in Cuba

Penn Brain Injury Experts Identify New Syndrome Possibly Linked to the Incidents

 

A comprehensive evaluation by clinical researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania identified a neurological syndrome that left U.S. government personnel serving in Havana, Cuba with persistent memory and thinking dysfunction, as well as vision and balance problems after hearing unusual noises in their homes or hotel rooms. 

“None of these patients have suffered any type of blunt head trauma, yet the symptoms they describe and evaluations demonstrate are remarkably similar to those found in persistent concussion syndrome,” said the study’s senior author, Douglas H. Smith, MD, the Robert A. Groff Professor and vice chair of Research and Education in the department of Neurosurgery and director of Penn’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair. “It appears that we have identified a new syndrome that may have important public health implications.”

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