HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) – The mysterious “sonic attacks” on U.S. government personnel in Cuba appear to have literally changed their brains.
A new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at MRI brain scans from 40 patients.
Compared with other adults, there were differences all over the brain consistent with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.
The study found a variety of symptoms including sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, disorientation and attention issues.
One doctor said it's clear something happened to these people, but more research is needed.
The U.S. State Department said it “is aware of the study and welcomes the medical community’s discussion on this incredibly complex issue. The Department’s top priority remains the safety, security, and well-being of its staff.”
The officials who experienced the attacks between late 2016 and May 2018 said they heard “intensely loud” sounds coming from a specific direction. The noises included “buzzing,” “grinding metal,” “piercing squeals” and “humming” sounds.
Cuban officials have vigorously denied that there were any targeted attacks on diplomats in Havana.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen Canadian diplomats who experienced similar symptoms while posted in Cuba are suing their government for millions.