Sizable Directed Donation Received to Further Research

June 23, 2015

The MdDS Balance Disorder Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous charitable contribution by a long-standing supporter, Ellen Kaye, which will enable continued MdDS research to be conducted by Yoon-Hee Cha, MD. This directed donation, and that of many other individual donors, reflects the fact that the Foundation has been a good steward of donor monies in support of MdDS research. We initiated research support of Dr. Cha many years ago and are confident that this support provided originally at the University of California at Los Angeles and presently at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research has advanced the field and improved our understanding of MdDS. Of note, Dr. Cha has emerged as an international expert on MdDS. This reputation reflects her clinical research results accomplished with funding provided by both the Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We are very pleased with the success of her research. In the future, we will seek to continue support for her clinical research studies as well as to initiate new pilot awards for additional MdDS research.

Awareness of Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS), a rare neurological condition, continues to increase as a result of the efforts of tireless volunteers, concerned family and friends, and a small cadre of clinicians and biomedical investigators. Only 10 years ago, few in clinical practice had heard of MdDS. Now, it is more frequently recognized by clinical caretakers who conscientiously order medical tests to exclude other neurological and vestibular diseases. Thus, MdDS diagnosis is a diagnosis of exclusion. Yet despite a diagnosis of MdDS, clinicians remain stymied since effective MdDS treatments remain to be established. Biomedical research holds the key to important questions about MdDS, however, it is important to note that studies of rare diseases are a challenge, a challenge because rare patients are difficult to find/study given the small numbers of affected individuals in the overall population. In this ‘Year of the Brain’, those with MdDS remain hopeful that new and effective treatments will emerge once the underlying basis of MdDS is clearly identified.

Neuromodulation may hold the key for treatment of Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS), a rare neurological disorder of perceived motion that often develops following  travel by cruise, airplanes, trains, cars, or seemingly spontaneously. Using sophisticated functional neuroimaging technologies, Yoon-Hee Cha, MD, has identified specific regions in the brain of those affected with MdDS. In her current studies at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dr. Cha is building upon her neuroimaging findings and is examining functional neuroconnectivity in MdDS as well as the potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for MdDS treatment. Her clinical research efforts are aided by a talented assistant, Diamond Urbano. The MdDS Balance Disorder Foundation applauds the success of Dr. Cha’s longstanding MdDS research program and is pleased to announce the award of an expanded research grant that will extend her clinical studies for another year beginning in August 2016.


  Dr. Yoon-Hee Chayhcha


  Diamond Urbanodiamond
©MdDS Balance Disorder Foundation
22406 Shannondell Drive
Audubon, PA 19403

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