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NIH failed to find evidence of brain injury due to Havana Syndrome

NIH failed to find evidence of brain injury due to Havana Syndrome

New studies by the National Institutes of Health failed to find evidence of brain injury in scans or blood markers of the diplomats and spies who suffered symptoms of Havana syndrome, bolstering the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies about the strange health incidents.

Havana Syndrome is a mysterious illness that is detected when it has affected military officers, C.I.A. personnel, and diplomats all around the world; in this, they have suffered many symptoms, such as chronic headache, vertigo, and nausea.

The studies involved more than 80 government employees and family members who experienced “anomalous health incidents” while stationed in Cuba, China, Austria, and the United States.

Many of the individuals had reported hearing odd sounds or sensing pressure before suddenly developing symptoms, including vertigo, loss of balance, and ear pain.

The incidents began to occur in greater concentrations at the end of 2016 and in 2017 in Havana and later in China, Austria, and elsewhere. The Biden administration took office in 2021, promising to improve health care for diplomats and spies suffering from the symptoms and vowing to get to the bottom of what was causing them.

Studies by the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 and 2019 suggested that people affected by the syndrome had possible brain injuries that were different from typical concussion injuries or other traumatic brain injuries.

However, the studies conducted at the National Institutes of Health did not find evidence supporting that idea. Instead, it found that the brains of affected people were no different from those of similar people who hadn’t reported symptoms. The study results were published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. David Relman, a prominent scientist who has had access to the classified files involving the cases and representatives of people suffering from Havana syndrome, said the new studies were flawed. He said many brain injuries are difficult to detect with scans or blood markers. He added that the findings do not dispute that an external force, like a directed energy device, could have injured the current and former government workers.