Thursday, January 15, 2009


At the risk of showing my age I remember from my childhood the song that went – “I hear music but there’s no one there.”

Now it seems the singer or perhaps rather the composer was just a heavy coffee drinker.

In this week of continuing tragic news from Gaza it is good to see that British researchers can still come up with whimsy.

Apparently hearing voices when nobody is around or seeing things that aren’t there such as ghosts is all down to drinking too much caffeine.

The study found that students who consumed more than the equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee a day were three times more likely to have had these kinds of hallucinations compared to people on a single daily cup.

Simon Jones, a psychologist at Durham University said: “This is the first step towards looking at the wider factors associated with hallucinations.”

The findings are also the latest in mounting evidence indicating the amount of caffeine a person consumes may directly affect a person's health.

Recent studies have suggested caffeine may lower a woman's risk of ovarian cancer while others have found too much doubles the risk of miscarriage. What ever.
Certainly in my younger days I knew a lot of students who drank a lot of coffee. However when it came to hallucinating or seeing ghosts it was usually Hungarian Riesling or wacky backy that was to blame!
( I believe "I Hear Music" is a popular song composed by Burton Lane, with lyrics by Frank Loesser for the Paramount Pictures movie Dancing on a Dime (1940). Long before my time!)

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