“I was personally disgusted by the fact that so many people were making judgments and assumptions about what happened to us without ever having met with any of us, without ever having examined us, or seeing our medical files. There’s been so much reporting about the possibility of everything being psychosomatic or being stress. And none of that really made sense to any of us. But, at the same time, we didn’t have proof, like an amputated limb. There was nothing obvious when you looked at us.”
Audrey Lee (pseudonym) — Fifty-year-old career Foreign Service officer (July 2019)
“It is a disservice to the men and women of the United States and Canadian diplomatic services to suggest they are suffering from a ‘mass psychogenic illness’ arising from their tenure in Havana.”
Professor Edward Shorter — University of Toronto
“It’s not imagined. All I can say is that there is a truth to be found. Whatever happened was not due to a pre-existing condition, because we test for that.”
Dr. Ragini Verma — Professor of radiology at Penn University (July 23 2019)
August 1 2019 — A new MRI study shows intriguing findings in the brains of US Diplomats affected by so-called “Havana Syndrome”. Brain scans show “significant neuroimaging differences” in 40 U.S. embassy employees affected by mysterious neurological symptoms in Cuba in late 2016, according to a study released on July 23 2019. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_Today
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Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania performed the magnetic resonance imaging scans on the personnel between August 2017 and June 2018. They then compared the images to results from 48 controls.
The diplomats had significantly smaller amounts of white brain matter, and markedly lower levels of connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for sight and hearing, said the study, published by the Journal of American Medicine.
The difference in the brains between the two groups “is pretty jaw-dropping at the moment,” lead researcher Dr. Ragini Verma, a professor of radiology at Penn, told Reuters.
For the record — The expression “Havana Syndrome” was coined by Dr. Ludwig De Braeckeleer and appeared for the first time in a story published by the Intel Today blog on October 3 2017. [Here is the tweet]
Brain specialists at the University of Pennsylvania, have examined and treated forty U.S. government employees who suffered strange injuries while working at the Embassy in Havana.
They published their first brain-imaging findings in The Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA.
According to Douglas Smith, the director of the university’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair and the investigative team’s leader, the results showed tangible neurological changes that “are not like anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Havana Syndrome — New MRI Study Shows Intriguing Findings