Man trapped in bizarre déjà vu leaves scientists baffled

Friday, January 30, 2015
The astronomical clock from the town hall in Old Town Square, Prague
[PHOTO: Andrew Shiva/CC BY-SA 3.0] 
London: A 23-year-old British student was forced to drop out of university after a bizarre case of chronic déjà vu left him unable to lead a normal life.

The boy is suffering from strangest cases of déjà vu ever recorded in medical history, researchers say.

The student's condition was so persistent he even avoided watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading newspapers or magazines because he believed he had seen it all before.

The term déjà vu translates literally from French as "already seen". The term was coined in 1876 by the French philosopher Emile Boirac.

If research reports to be believed, about two thirds of us experience at least one déjà vu in our lifetime, yet very little is known about what causes it.

Details of the case have been revealed in a report published by the Journal of Medical Case Reports.

Some researchers believe déjà vu is caused by neurons "misfiring" in the brain

While a group of scientists from the UK, France and Canada who studied the strange case of the man with "chronic deja vu" think one possible cause of the phenomenon could be anxiety.

For eight years, the man felt "trapped in a time loop". The more distressed he became by the experience, the worse it seemed to get.

In 2007 he reported finding these experiences very frightening and returned to university where he described the déjà vu episodes.

In 2008, he was referred to specialists for neurological examination. Tests for epilepsy were normal and he was treated with a range of medications.

He was assessed again in 2010, by which time his persistent déjà vu caused him to avoid watching television.

While many of us experience occasional feelings of déjà vu, more frequent and intense forms are usually only seen in people who have seizures in the temporal lobe, a condition called temporal lobe epilepsy, but it is extreme case of déjà vu as researchers say.
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