US personnel in Cuban 'auditory attack' suffered same symptoms as brain injury

Auditory and sensory attacks that affected 21 U.S. government personnel while in Cuba in 2016 may have caused concussion-like symptoms, according to an article published by CNN. The "acoustic attacks" were first reported by the news outlet in August 2017.

A study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the symptoms closely resemble those resulting from a brain injury. Specifically, the study used MRI imaging on 10 men and 11 women who had experienced many aggressively stimulating sounds.  

According to CNN, study findings have raised the question of whether the same pattern of symptom can occur in patients who have not experienced any kind of head trauma. 

"If you took any one of these patients and put them into a brain injury clinic, and you didn't know their background, you would think that they had a traumatic brain injury from being in a car accident or a blast in the military," said Randel Swanson, PhD, a specialist in brain injury rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues in the study. "It's like a concussion without a concussion." 

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