Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about MdDS

Are there other names for MdDS?

MdDS is an abbreviation for Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (a French name) which translates into sickness upon disembarking (leaving a boat or other vehicle). This disorder is also known as Disembarkment Syndrome or colloquially as landsickness. It is less commonly known as Persistent Mal de Debarquement (PMdD) and Rocking Vertigo.

Several years ago, I had MdDS that spontaneously resolved. Will I develop this again if I go on another cruise?

Some individuals who have had MdDS that resolved redeveloped symptoms after a subsequent cruise. (However, there are some who did not.) Many describe a more prolonged period of MdDS symptoms with each episode. Therefore, the recommendation is to avoid further cruises to minimize the likelihood that MdDS will recur.

I have MdDS. Will symptoms become worse if I go on a cruise or undertake extended travel by air, train, or car?

Not necessarily. However, some individuals have described a transient increase in symptoms after these type of motion experiences.

When will this be over?

In most individuals who develop symptoms of MdDS following a cruise or other prolonged motion experience, the symptoms of MdDS (rocking, bobbing, swaying) may gradually dissipate and disappear altogether. In general, this is more likely to happen for those who are younger. But, for a few and with age, these symptoms may persist for an extended interval.

Where can I go to get diagnosed?

This is sometimes difficult since many health care providers are unaware of MdDS. A list of possible providers is available on this site.

Is there a cure?

Unfortunately, no.

Is there a treatment which reduces symptoms?

At present there are no treatments or therapies proven to be helpful to those suffering with MdDS. Some are benefited with medications and vestibular rehabilitation therapy. A regular exercise program seems to help many.

Are MdDS symptoms worse during a woman’s period (menses)?

Many women experience increased symptoms before or during their menstrual cycle. MdDS is more common in women than men (9:1), however, the role of hormones in the exacerbation/remission of MdDS symptoms is not understood.

Are there any clinical trials/research studies being conducted on MdDS?

This is a rare disease and research studies are similarly rare. To our knowledge, there are only two active research studies on MdDS. One is being conducted at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) by Dr. Yoon-Hee Cha. The other is underway at Ohio University by Dr. Brian C. Clark. Both of these studies are funded, in part, by this Foundation.

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FAQs about the Foundation

What is the overhead associated with MdDS Foundation operations?

For 2016, the overhead costs were less than 4% of donations. These costs were associated with activities such as printing and mailing of brochures, teleconference fees for quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors, annual website server and registration fees, professional fees associated with the preparation of an annual tax return by a certified public accountant, and licensing fees associated with registration as a non-profit organization. Overhead in 2017 is budgeted to be similar to that of 2016.

Can donated funds be designated for use in specific MdDS Foundation projects?

Please note that ALL donations are used to support the goals of the MdDS Foundation which include supporting MdDS research and furthering education about MdDS for medical professionals and the public. Except under rare circumstances, the Foundation discourages designation of donations for specific purposes such as support for educational programs. Restriction of the use of funds creates additional work for volunteers who maintain our fiscal records and increases the fees associated with the preparation of annual tax documents (which reduces the amount of the actual donation that would be available to support Foundation goals).

Do the members of the Board receive compensation or payment for their services on the Board of Directors of the MdDS Foundation?

No. All members of the Board of Directors are volunteers. Most have active MdDS. Thus, the Board is personally dedicated to finding improved treatments and diagnostic tools for use with MdDS. The Board seeks a cure for MdDS! And, the Board of Directors provide significant ‘in kind’ support of Foundation expenses thus sparing all revenue from donations to directly support the educational and research missions of the organization.

Does the Board need more volunteers for MdDS Foundation operations?

Yes! Please contact us and offer your time, talent, and effort. This will be much appreciated by all who suffer from MdDS.

Can the MdDS Foundation recommend medications or tell me how much of a specific medication I should take.

No. The Foundation is not in a position to provide medical/medication advice. Please seek the advice of a health care professional. A list of professionals is available on this site.

Can the MdDS Foundation provide advice such as whether or not I should go on another cruise or how much medication to take when traveling again?

No. Further travel is a personal decision that one must make in consultation with his/her health care professional. Two private MdDS support sites exist, where people discuss their experiences that may be of interest to you. You may send a request for an invitation to join MdDS Friends on Facebook or the Yahoo! MdDS Support Group.