Friday, January 16, 2009

One demitasse over the line?

A British study has concluded that coffee intake doesn't lead to hallucinations, despite the press sensationally reporting otherwise.
... study itself,which found that self-reported caffeine intake was correlated with scores on the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale (LSHS), a 16-item questionnaire that is supposed to measure people's propensity to hallucinate. The scale, which includes questions about vivid daydreaming, "intrusive thoughts," and hypnagogic images, does not indicate whether subjects actually have experienced waking hallucinations. The researchers called the relationship between caffeine consumption and LSHS scores "weak" and noted that it does not prove caffeine raises the likelihood of hallucinations.
Apparently the NHS Knowledge Service was obligated to calm the nervous (over-caffeinated perhaps) UK citizenry. Simon Jones and Charles Fernyhough of the Department of Psychology, Durham University did the research.

The best tip:
Anyone who has a psychotic episode should always consult a doctor, rather than assume it is caused by caffeine.
Duly noted. Found at The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan

Update: My spouse asked, "how do you know if you're having a psychotic episode?" Presume you refer to the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale and then seek medical attention.

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