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For months, United States diplomats in Cuba have suffered an ongoing range of symptoms from a mysterious source, straining relations between the two governments. The latest diagnosis includes abnormalities to some of the diplomats’ white brain matter, which affects cognitive function, sensory and motor skills. However, this discovery only further divides scientists on the issue of what caused the patients’ symptoms.

Discovery of Damage to White Brain Matter

Since August 2016, American diplomats—and some Canadians—have experienced unusual health problems while stationed at the Cuban Embassy. The symptoms included nausea, dizziness, headaches, difficulty balancing, trouble concentration and recalling words, ringing in the ears, permanent hearing loss, and speech and vision problems. Patients have also been diagnosed with brain injuries such as swelling, concussion, and most recently damage to white brain matter.

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