'Brain Abnormalities' Found in Victims of U.S. Embassy Attacks in Cuba
The abnormalities are reportedly changes to the white matter tracts in the brain that allow different parts of the brain to communicate.
The findings have led to skepticism among scientists regarding the use of sonic weapons in the attack. Elisa Konofagou, a biomedical engineering professor at Columbia University who is not part of the government investigation, told the AP that acoustic waves have never been shown to cause the type of damage seen in the victims.
Government officials are now reluctant to even use the term "sonic attack," and believe the sounds reported by victims may be the byproduct of something else that caused the damage to their brains.
The damage to the victims' brains is similar to that suffered by military veterans in Iraq and Afghanistan who have survived explosions, although the soldiers' injuries--which included concussions and damage to their white matter tracts--were attributed to explosive shock waves. Doctors who examined the embassy victims earlier this year said that they had suffered concussions, but were unable to make any determination beyond that.
None of the embassy victims reported being involved in any explosions.
Victims described a sudden wave of nausea, dizziness, and headaches that followed strange sounds that they compared to loud crickets or screeching metal, and have been treated for ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, visual complaints, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping.
Doctors are currently treating the symptoms like a new, never-before-seen illness, said the AP.