The Week (US)

Do victims’ symptoms last?


Some say their illnesses faded, but others have suffered lasting damage. Doctors at the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Philadelph­ia, who’ve treated dozens of victims, published a study describing “sustained injury” to cognitive, balance, motor, and sensory functions, similar to what’s seen in a severe concussion. Marc Polymeropo­ulos, a 26-year CIA veteran, was forced to retire by injuries suffered on a trip to Moscow in 2017. He awoke in his hotel room with an intense feeling of nausea and vertigo, “like I was going to both throw up and pass out at the same time,” he said. A former covert operative who’d spent years hunting terrorists in the Middle East, he’s suffered constant, debilitati­ng headaches ever since, and was treated for traumatic brain injury at Walter Reed Hospital. “It incapacita­tes you,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s a pretty brilliant terror weapon.”

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