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Letters to the Editor
June 2000

Mal de Debarquement

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(6):805. doi:

We read with interest the article by Hain et al1 on the intriguing phenomenon of mal de debarquement (MDD), or sickness of disembarkment. They described 27 subjects with persistent MDD, a pathological condition that was first reported by Brown and Baloh2 in 1987. The pathogenesis of persistent MDD is unclear, and the clinical presentation is still not well defined.24 This lack of clarity contrasts with the well-defined, more common physiological condition of MDD, a transient sensation of swaying, swinging, unsteadiness, and disequilibrium that occurs in some individuals after disembarkment, and is usually explained in terms of multisensorimotor adaptation and habituation to an abnormal motion environment.58

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