Some brain conditions have been linked to having déjà vu experiences. Temporal lobe epilepsy can cause unusual electrical activity in the brain that leads to déjà vu before a seizure (per the Mayo Clinic). People with various psychiatric disorders may also have déjà vu, according to a 2004 report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. A 2021 study published in the journal Memory found that individuals with anxiety are more likely to experience déjà vu than others, and their experiences may cause them distress.
Déjà vu can be a sign of some types of dementia and migraine, as stated by the Cleveland Clinic. People with frontotemporal dementia, for instance, often experience persistent déjà vu and try to rationalize it. And while rare, some people may experience déjà vu as part of the aura symptom before a migraine attack (per Practical Neurology). The aura is a distinct phase that comes before the headache.
In addition to neurological conditions, a report published in 2023 in Current Problems in Cardiology suggests a connection between frequent déjà vu experiences and cardiovascular diseases. Reduced blood flow to the brain, a common aspect of cardiovascular issues, could contribute to déjà vu-like sensations. If you’ve been experiencing frequent déjà vu accompanied by symptoms that worry you, be sure to get in touch with your primary care provider.