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Did You Know?: Hallucinations on Caffeine

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Air date: January 25, 2009


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It's true. A recent study from the University of Durham, in England, drinking more than seven cups of instant coffee per day is linked to to hallucinations.

Researchers in Durham surveyed 200 students about their daily consumption of caffeine and found that those who consumed the equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee were three times more likely to have heard a disembodied voice than students who ingested less caffeine. Heavy caffeine users were also more likely to sense the presence of dead people and see things that werenít there.

The report claims only an association between caffeine use and hallucination, not a causal link. And the researchers acknowledge the possibility that students already prone to hallucination may use caffeine as a form of self-medication.

Further research along these lines could lead to a better understanding of how nutrition affects hallucinations and other mental activity.

And now you know.