Journal of Vestibular Research, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 285-293, 2020
We present diagnostic criteria for mal de débarquement syndrome (MdDS) for inclusion into the International Classification of Vestibular Disorders. The criteria include the following: 1] Non-spinning vertigo characterized by an oscillatory perception (‘rocking,’ ‘bobbing,’ or ‘swaying’) present continuously or for most of the day; 2] Onset occurs within 48 hours after the end of exposure to passive motion, 3] Symptoms temporarily reduce with exposure to passive motion (e.g. driving), and 4] Symptoms persist for >48 hours. MdDS may be designated as “in evolution,” if symptoms are ongoing but the observation period has been less than 1 month; “transient,” if symptoms resolve at or before 1 month and the observation period extends at least to the resolution point; or “persistent” if symptoms last for more than 1 month. Individuals with MdDS may develop co-existing symptoms of spatial disorientation, visual motion intolerance, fatigue, and exacerbation of headaches or anxiety. Features that distinguish MdDS from vestibular migraine, motion sickness, and persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD) are reviewed. Motion-moderated oscillatory vertigo can also occur without a motion trigger, typically following another vestibular disorder, a medical illness, heightened psychological stress, or metabolic disturbance. Terminology for this non-motion triggered presentation has been varied as it has features of both MdDS and PPPD. Further research is needed into its phenomenological and biological relationship to MdDS, PPPD, and other vestibular disorders.