Mal de Debarquement Syndrome: A Case Report

Cureus. 2018 Sep 7;10(9):e3270. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3270.


Mal de Debarquement syndrome (MdDS) is an uncommon neurological disorder seen in women, mostly in their fourth decade of life. It is characterized by a constant sensation of swaying or motion after one disembarks from a vehicle such as a ship or plane following a lengthy trip. These symptoms temporarily subside when the patient is subjected again to passive motion like driving a car. There are no definitive diagnostic tests for Mal de Débarquement syndrome. It is a diagnosis of exclusion and does not have an effective treatment. The symptoms usually resolve spontaneously in about a year. We report a case of a 47-year-old female who presented with a feeling of imbalance following about a four-week cruise, which temporarily subsides during a bicycle ride or a car drive. We report this case, as this condition may not be well-known and probably under-reported. Prospective travelers should be warned and patients can perhaps be cautiously reassured.

Keywords: cruise trip; disembarkment; imbalance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports