Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland syndrome  is a neurological disorder that usually affects children, usually at night. It is characterized by  a set of symptoms including the alteration of the visual perception and the image of one’s body, leading the individual to perceive in an unreal way the dimensions of some parts of his body and external objects, in addition to the loss of orientation and alteration of the senses.

This syndrome is usually diagnosed in childhood, a period during which the child can experience the sensation of being inside a story, lost in his dreams; although victims of this disorder usually tend to lose symptoms during adolescence, in some rare cases they persist throughout life, especially in the pre-dreaming phase.

The underlying causes of this syndrome

Alice in Wonderland syndrome may be due to an abnormal amount of electricity in the body, which causes a change in the blood flow of the brain, altering the visual signals sent by this organ to the eyes, thus giving rise to hallucinations, loss of orientation and altered perception of the image of oneself.

Among the causes linked to this syndrome we also find  temporal lobe epilepsy, a condition for which convulsions occur in the temporal lobes that can generate euphoric reactions, intense fear or paranoia.

Alice syndrome can also be triggered by headaches, migraines, brain tumors or the Epstein-Barr virus, which can lead to symptoms appearing in the early stages.

Alice in Wonderland syndrome huge objects

Signs and symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome

  • The main symptom of Alice in Wonderland syndrome consists in the altered vision of the image of one’s body, due to which the victim of the disorder perceives some parts of his body of different dimensions from normal; in particular, the hands and head will appear disproportionate.
  • Another significant symptom is the altered perception of the size of the objects in the room.
  • The individual also loses the measure of time, in fact he can think in an extremely slow or very fast way.
  • Some individuals may  experience strong hallucinations, coming to see elements that do not really exist around them or misperceive some situations that involve them.
  • The alteration of perceptions is not limited to sight, but extends to auditory and tactile perception.   

Treatment

When the cause of the syndrome is migraine, there is a safe and effective treatment, but chronic cases appear to be intractable and take a long time to heal; the symptoms that occur are not compromising or dangerous, and usually fade over time. The ideal treatment is rest.

Image courtesy of Brandon Christopher Warren

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