Mount Sinai Human Balance Laboratory

MdDS Symptoms

MdDS is comprised of primary as well as secondary, or accompanying symptoms. The uniqueness of MdDS is that the set of symptoms and the strength of each symptom varies from patient to patient. A patient can have only primary, or both primary and secondary symptoms. The particular secondary symptoms and their strengths may also vary.

Primary MdDS symptoms:

A distinct signature of MdDS is persistent:

  • rocking (forward-backward)
  • swaying (side-to-side)
  • bobbing (up-down)

Some patients report these sensations while their posture remains stable. Depending on the strength of these symptoms and the duration of MdDS, these symptoms can be experienced when sitting, standing, or lying down. Sensations during walking vary, but are frequently reported as:

  • “trampoline walking”, when the ground pushes your feet up in response to every, or some steps
  • “sponge walking”, when the ground feels soft

A common variation of two types of walking is the sensation that with every step, your feet hit the floor earlier or later than expected. This sensation can be similar or different for your left and right foot.

  • “penguin walking”, when a patient feels that their body goes side-to-side with every step, while physically their walking appears normal
  • “walking on a people mover at the airport”, when the sensation is that some force is pushing you forward with every, or some steps
  • “walking on wavy ground”, when the sensation is that the ground is moving up and down with every step, or there is a sensation of gradually walking up and down hill over several steps “ground motion”, where some patients feel that while they are stable, the ground under their feet is constantly moving forward-backward or side-to-side in an oscillating fashion and they have to move their body to maintain balance

Secondary (accompanying) MdDS symptoms:

Apart from the primary motion feelings, there are a number disturbing symptoms reported. They are cognitive dysfunction, spatial disorientation, wooziness, headache, head pressure, ear pressure, visual intolerance, insomnia, fatigue, queasy, panicking, stress and depression. MdDS symptoms can be aggravated/reversed by visually exposing to busy patterns, crowds, confined spaces, computer or cell phone scrolling. We are recently implementing a protocol that would reduce the visual susceptibility for the prevention of a reversion of symptoms.