TECH

Student 'Trapped In Time Loop' For 8 Years By Chronic Deja Vu

21/01/2015 13:43 GMT | Updated 21/01/2015 13:59 GMT
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A student with chronic deja vu says he was "trapped in a time loop" for eight years and left unable to lead a normal life.

In what has been called the strangest case of deja vu in medical history, the 23-year-old said he was forced to drop out of university due to the condition.

Doctors reported in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, via the Telegraph, that the man was unable to read newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio because he believed he had 'seen it all before'.

Inevitably the case has drawn comparisons to films like Groundhog Day - in which the central character is forced to relive the same loop of time over and over.





Doctors say that the man does not have the neurological conditions from which chronic deja vu patients usually suffer.

Dr Christine Wells, a psychology expert from Sheffield Hallam University, says in the report that these patients usually suffer from seizures in the temporal lobe, known as temporal lobe epilepsy. But the student in the case has no signs of any major neurological issues.

He first experienced deja vu, he says, in 2007 but only for short periods. But when he went on holiday - to a place he had already visited - he said the deja vu was so intense he was convinced he had experienced the entire visit before.

"Rather than simply the unsettling feelings of familiarity which are normally associated with déjà vu, our subject complained that it felt like he was actually retrieving previous experiences from memory, not just finding them familiar," said Dr Wells.

He was tested by neurological specialists in 2008 and 2010, but doctors were unable to pinpoint an obvious cause.

But instead of a genuine timeloop, Wells said the sufferer may instead he trapped in a loop of anxiety.

Wells said the experience may have been caused by "anxiety causing mistimed neuronal firing in the brain, which causes more déjà vu and in turn brings about more anxiety".

If that is true the student's would be unique in medical history - though it would require more study to determine if there is a solid link between anxiety and deja vu.