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Recurring déjà vu associated with 5-hydroxytryptophan

  • Seema Kalra (a1), Andrew Chancellor (a2) and Adam Zeman (a3)

Déjà vu occurs both in normal experience and as a neuropsychiatric symptom. Its pathogenesis is partially understood. We describe an iatrogenic case with implications for the neuropharmacological basis of déjà vu.

Case presentation:

A 42-year-old woman received 5-hydroxytryptophan, in combination with carbidopa, as treatment for palatal tremor, on two occasions, separated by 1 week. On each occasion, she experienced intense, protracted déjà vu, lasting for several hours. We discuss her case in relation to the neuroanatomical and neuropharmacological basis of déjà vu.


The serotonergic system is involved in the genesis of déjà vu.

Corresponding author
Professor Adam Zeman, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter EX2 4UD, UK. Tel: 01392-208581/208583; Fax: 01392-662929; E-mail:
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Acta Neuropsychiatrica
  • ISSN: 0924-2708
  • EISSN: 1601-5215
  • URL: /core/journals/acta-neuropsychiatrica
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