Mal de débarquement syndrome

Timothy C Hain*, M. Cherchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

30 Scopus citations


Mal de débarquement syndrome (MdDS) is typified by a prolonged rocking sensation – for a month or longer – that begins immediately following a lengthy exposure to motion. The provoking motion is usually a sea voyage. About 80% of MdDS sufferers are women, and most of them are middle-aged. MdDS patients are troubled by more migraine headaches than controls. Unlike dizziness caused by vestibular disorders or motion sickness, the symptoms of MdDS usually improve with re-exposure to motion. The long duration of symptoms – a month or more – distinguishes MdDS from land-sickness. Treatment of MdDS with common vestibular suppressants is nearly always ineffective. Benzodiazepines can be helpful, but their usefulness is limited by the potential for addiction. Studies are ongoing regarding treatment with visual habituation and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • mal de débarquement
  • migraine
  • motion sickness
  • rocking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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