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'Collective Psychogenic Disorder' Not 'Sonic Attacks' Sickened US Diplomats in Cuba Printer friendly page Print This
By Staff Writers | teleSUR
teleSUR
Thursday, Dec 7, 2017

U.S. and Cuban flags hang on the terrace of a restaurant in downtown Havana, March 17, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Refuting earlier claims made by the U.S. government that U.S. officials in Havana may have suffered "sonic attacks," doctors have found the officials underwent a "collective psychogenic disorder" and have linked brain abnormalities to their symptoms related to hearing, vision, balance, and memory.

One of the most important findings of the nearly 9-month probe is that the damages led to a perceptible change in the brains of those who were affected.

The researchers have steered away from using the term "sonic attack" and replaced it with "directional acoustic phenomena."  Medical reports revealed that the workers developed changes to the white matter tract, which are like the information highways between brain cells, which led the different parts of the brain to communicate.

Elisa Konofagou, a biomedical engineering professor at Columbia University, told the Guardian, that acoustic waves cannot be linked to altering white matter tracts in the officials.

“I would be very surprised. We never see white matter tract problems," Konofagou said.

The Cuban panel of doctors investigating the mystery behind the allegations. Three of 20 people tested had abnormalities in the eardrum, inner ear, and cochlea, but all had preexisting hearing deficits, Science Magazine noted.

Also, the environmental sounds near the site were investigated to solve the mystery, but nothing as loud as something that could lead to a hearing impairment was found, per the investigation.

"To harm someone from outside a room, a sonic weapon would have to emit a sound above 130 decibels," Manuel Jorge Villar Kuscevic, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Enrique Cabrera Hospital, said a damaging noise would have to be as loud as the roar of four jet engines on the street outside a house.

Cuba has repeatedly denied U.S. allegations calling it "deliberate lies."

"The Cuban Government has no responsibility for the facts alleged and seriously and rigorously fulfills its obligations to the Vienna Convention in regard to the protection of diplomats," Cuban diplomat and foreign ministry head of U.S. affairs, Josefina Vidal, said in September, when the U.S. administration took the drastic step of removing about 60 percent of U.S. government staff out of Cuba.


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