Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Swaying

By Saad Saroufim, Carol Schadelbauer, September 5, 2017

Imagine feeling like you never stop moving.

Like the floor beneath you was constantly shifting. Back and forth. Up and down. All day. Every day.

For some people, this is a reality.

Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is a neurological disorder that leaves patients feeling as if they’re rocking and swaying, most often after disembarking from a plane or cruise ship.

The symptoms can last for weeks, months or in some cases, forever. There’s no known cure yet, but patients with MdDS often find temporary relief when they are back in motion — like riding in a car. The disorder can also lead to other problems such as difficulties with attention, emotional control, pain and problems with sensory stimuli like light and sound.

One of the biggest challenges for MdDS patients is that many physicians have never heard of it. The average person sees more than 20 doctors before they’re diagnosed, increasing the likelihood of misdiagnosis or having to bounce from doctor to doctor in search of a solution.

So, what’s the solution?

Our partner, the MdDS Foundation, is working to change that by promoting international awareness, education and research, as well as advocating for people who live with the disorder.

While researchers don’t yet know why the brain gets “stuck” in this state, they are trying to improve recognition of this disorder with a variety of resources.

The foundation wants to help more physicians learn how to diagnosis and treat this disorder, while also helping patients know they aren’t alone. And they hope more funding for research into the cause of and treatments for MdDS will come soon.

Check out the video below to get an idea of what it’s like for people living with MdDS, and for more information, visit their newly redesigned website: mddsfoundation.org.

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