The MdDS Balance Disorder Foundation is pleased to announce plans to provide a major research award to Yoon-Hee Cha, MD, at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR). Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the LIBR promotes multidisciplinary neuroscience investigations among scientists and clinicians. Dr. Cha recently transitioned to the LIBR from her faculty position at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) where she originated her clinical research studies on Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) or disembarkment syndrome.
MdDS is a rare and poorly understood neurological disorder of perceived motion that manifests as a persistent internal sensation of rocking, swaying or bobbing and that is generally relieved by passive motion. There are currently no effective treatments for MdDS which is often quite disabling. With continued support provided by the MdDS Foundation, Dr. Cha will now extend her MdDS research efforts in a new study (Functional Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation in MdDS) at LIBR to examine the usefulness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for MdDS treatment. TMS is a form of external neuromodulation that uses pulsatile magnetic fields on the surface of the head. Dr. Cha’s studies will improve our understanding of the phenomenon of motion adaptation in the human nervous system and the neural circuitry involved in balance and spatial perception.