Imaging Shows Brain Matter Alterations in U.S. Government Personnel Who Served in Cuba

Imaging Shows Brain Matter Alterations in Us Government Personnel Who Served in Cuba
Volumetric Differences Between Patients and Controls. Images reveal key brain differences, particularly in the cerebellum, between impacted patients and healthy individuals, which may underlie clinical findings previously reported by the Penn team

Brain imaging of 40 U.S. government personnel who experienced a host of neurological symptoms after possible exposure of an unknown source while serving in Cuba revealed significant differences in brain tissue and connectivity when compared to healthy individuals, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. The findings are published today in JAMA.

“The areas implicated in the patients’ brains, namely the cerebellum as well as the visuospatial and auditory networks, align with the neurological symptoms that were observed in the patients,” said lead author Ragini Verma, PhD, a professor of Radiology and head of the DiCIPHR (Diffusion and Connectomics in Precision Healthcare Research) imaging lab at Penn. “These differences persisted even when people with some history of brain injury were excluded from the analysis.”

In 2016, U.S. government personnel serving in Havana, Cuba, and their family members began to report a variety of neurological symptoms, including difficulty with concentration and memory, dizziness, visual issues, and balance problems. The symptoms were linked to sudden, intensely loud noises heard in their homes and hotel rooms, which State Department officials later referred to as a “sonic attack” or “directional phenomena,” though the specifics of the alleged event remain unsolved. After initial examinations, the patients were sent to Penn’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair for evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation in the summer of 2017, under the direction of center director and study co-author Douglas H. Smith, MD, the Robert A. Groff Professor of Teaching and Research in Neurosurgery.

A 2018 JAMA report published by Penn researchers documented the neurological symptoms that 21 patients who had reported exposure to the mysterious phenomena in Cuba experienced. Summing up these findings, Smith said that the symptoms were, “similar to those found in persistent concussion syndrome, yet there was no evidence of blunt head trauma.”

As part of the investigation into their signs and symptoms, the patients also underwent advanced neuroimaging with multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at Penn, prior to receiving any comprehensive rehabilitation treatment. This retrospective analysis compared the brain images of 40 potentially-exposed personnel to 48 healthy individuals who were not exposed and did not demonstrate these signs and symptoms.

The group-based analysis, published in the new 2019 JAMA study, used various computational tools to examine structural, diffusion, and functional MRI images, finding statistically significant differences in brain volume, tissue properties, and connectivity between the patients and healthy control group. There was reduced white matter volume in the affected patients, along with a pattern of differences in measures of water diffusion in the tissue. The imaging also revealed lower functional connectivity in the visuospatial and auditory subnetworks. Notably, differences in tissue volume, water diffusion, and connectivity were found in the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for performing voluntary tasks, such as walking and writing.

“The cerebellar findings in this neuroimaging study are notable, given that a number of the patients evaluated exhibited abnormalities in balance and the coordinated movement of the eyes, both of which are associated with cerebellar dysfunction in the brain,” said study co-author Randel Swanson, DO, PhD, an assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn.

According to Verma, the pattern of differences found in this study do not resemble imaging-based investigations of any other pathology, like concussion and traumatic brain injury.

“These findings may represent something not seen before,” Smith said.

Verma likened the brain to a highway system, comprising roads (white matter) and traffic. Structural MRI provides information about the size of the roads, while diffusion imaging gives insight into the road conditions and how they are connected. An injury to the brain could contribute to a deterioration in the condition of the roads (reflected in white matter differences), leading to an alternate traffic pattern (altered functional connectivity). Therefore, Verma said, a multimodal investigation is essential to see a more complete picture of the injury. As the brain recovers, while the traffic pattern may go back to normal, the overuse of some roads may lead to wear and tear, or compensatory changes in the brain.

“It’s hard to tell where the problem started; the brain differences observed could be an immediate effect of the brain injury, or it could a compensatory effect of the recovery process,” Verma said. “It’s very difficult to say, especially with a retrospective, heterogeneous study, where people were included at various times after potential exposure. The important thing is that we did see differences at the group level.”

1 Comment
  1. on my website http://www.helpingmate.com i added link Cuban syndrome – it is actually one article from DARPA US military web site, that explains what US diplomats experienced and technology behind. someone reported that US diplomats were spies. if you were US government would you like to ‘know’ what spies are doing and thinking in every moment or just to check on them.

    i have same symptoms as us diplomats since face lifting surgery in Nov. 2015 – strong cicadas sound (like artificial crickets, especially on the left side of the head (like strong white noise – radio), flapping sound coming from my body (exactly as US diplomats described – as if you are driving car and opening window half way – still not that strong flapping). question is if they were vaccinated before going to Cuba. in that case they could had been injected with nano bots, nano robots or bio sensors. those could actually be nano radios (US Berkeley, Zettl group) vibrating so fast inside the body so that they create flapping sound when hit with specific frequencies. it is meant one day in not so distant future, that are body would be connected to the Cloud and trough flapping transmitting bodily vitals (for different purposes). This would be done trough cell pone towers and would create body area network (i did not research details). Internet of People – Singularity. US diplomats and myself are in
    the first stage of this project.

    i think tat they were not necessarily implanted with neurorans (www.neuralink.com) but neuro dusted . This miht produce cicadas sound. I found neuro dust applied on the outside part of the ear and covered with polymer mass. it was revealed when i used h2o2 to clean my ears. i still have cicadas sound around my head. They also reported chirping sound – when Facebook – Zuckerberg and Regina Dugan tested in my body implanted technologies on April 25, 2018 for their Building 8 projects, I heard metallic chirping sound on my left ear. It was meant to give you signal that message is coming – audio or visual information. i had implanted first implantable cell phone in my left ear, nano crystals, nano diamonds etc. google tattoo – for skin that is listening and talking. ‘talking’ is done trough flapping sound – as if the stream of information is leaving your body.

    Facebook got all technologies from US military – reason that Regina Dugan, former DARPA Director, worked as head of engineering in Facebook at tat time (tweaking and implementation of DARPA technologies) . Unfortunately I know this everything because Facebook got also my nano implanted body from Air Force – US military, after they finished their work on technologies secretly implanted in my body during face lifting surgery.
    even if some experts know what is going on, they will pretend tat they don’t know. You would not like to be US military target, would you?

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