Renowned Cuban neurologist Nelson Gomez reaffirmed Thursday that it is impossible for a sound wave, even intense, to cause a concussion, referring to the alleged sonic attacks against U.S. diplomats in Cuba.
Gomez, member of the group of experts that participates in the investigations related to these events, told the Prensa Latina news agency that for causing the damage referred to by the U.S. Government, it had to be a shock wave, and in that case not only the brain would be damaged, but also other parts of the body.
The story of U.S. diplomats suffering hearing loss and other health damages during their work in Cuba hit headlines in August, the first of the alleged attacks took place in November and the last one few months ago.
‘We have worked intensely for various months in a multidisciplinary group, with specialties such as otorhinolaryngology, neurophysiology and physics, among many others. For this reason, I can state that the sonic attacks against U.S. diplomats mentioned by the U.S. Government are not possible. We have scientific grounds to support this conclusion’, said Gomez.
Gomez, head of de Department of Neurology at the hospital Hermanos Ameijeiras said that, for a start, none of the samples presented by the U.S. Government exceed the intensity of 80 decibels, which is the limit to start considering hearing damage.
‘It is also surprising, now from the physics’ viewpoint, that if the sound wave spreads on its path, how it is possible that it selectively affects some diplomats and not other people living with them, or neighbors in the same area,’ said Gomez.
‘We know that there are devices that cause sonic attacks, but these devices are huge and are attached to vehicles’, said Gomez.
‘However, if we consider the possibility of a sonic attack, none of the neighbors living near the diplomats said they had seen any vehicle carrying such devices or heard any sound, and they did not have symptoms similar to those that the United States mentioned in its report,’ said Gomez.
In this regard, Gomez said that in the health report delivered to the Cuban authorities, concussion is also mentioned among the symptoms.
The concussion is a neurological damage that results from a trauma to the head or a sudden movement of acceleration or deceleration of the head, which usually causes a temporary loss of consciousness.
‘However, in the health report issued by the United States no reference is made to any report of head trauma in the people involved and, on the other hand, none of them mentioned loss of consciousness. All these reasons point to the lack of scientific rigor of that document,’ said Gomez.
Gomez, college professor and doctor in neurological sciences, pointed out that, given the lack of evidence and the complex nature of the case, Cuban authorities keep the investigation open and are willing to collaborate with their U.S. counterparts to clarify the events.