Havana Syndrome: Medical, Scientific, and Policy Perspectives

Havan Syndrome
Illustration by Adrià Fruitós

Havana Syndrome is a descriptive condition involving a large cluster of U.S. government diplomats and family members affected by symptoms similar to Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD), vestibular migraine, traumatic brain injury (TBI), brain fog, headaches, hearing loss, and tinnitus.

On February 10, 2022, UT Southwestern hosted a comprehensive symposium on Havana Syndrome from a medical and scientific perspective, which included distinguished speakers from the health policy world, U.S. government, media, and victim advocacy. The symposium highlighted the critical role of clinical and basic science research in understanding the condition and treating people experiencing the symptoms of Havana Syndrome, and other similar syndromes, and spotlighted the importance of public-private partnerships between U.S. government entities and academic medical centers in addressing complex, 21st-century biomedical challenges.

In the following table, the speakers are listed with the topics they addressed during the event, and the event recordings are linked.

Speakers Topics and Presentation Video Links
Dr. Carol A. Tamminga, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, and Dr. Kenneth Dekleva, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Welcome and Symposium Introduction
Dr. Walter Kutz, Professor of Otolaryngology, UT Southwestern Vestibular Illness, Tinnitus, and Other Issues in Otolaryngology
Dr. Shin Beh, Southwestern Health Resources Vestibular Migraine
Dr. Munro Cullum and Dr. Laura Lacritz, Professors of Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Havana Syndrome and TBI
Dr. Chadrick Lane, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Havana Syndrome: A New Paradigm for Neuropsychiatry?
Dr. Surendra Barshikar, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UT Southwestern Treatment of TBI and Functional Neurological Disorders
Suzanne Kelly and Daniel Hoffman, The Cipher Brief National Security Implications of Havana Syndrome
Greg Myre, NPR National Security Correspondent, and Marc Polymeropoulos, The Cipher Brief The Victim Impact of Havana Syndrome
Ambassador Eric Rubin, U.S. Department of State The Impact of Havana Syndrome Upon the Foreign Service and American Diplomacy
Dr. Jeffrey Staab, Chair of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic PPPD and Havana Syndrome
Dr. James Giordano, Chief, Neuroethics Study Program, Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Neuroscience and Ethical issues in Havana Syndrome
Dr. Kenneth Dekleva and Dr. Munro Cullum Concluding Discussion and Q&A