Alice In Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS)
The name of this condition was given by Dr. John Todd, an English psychiatrist, in 1955, because the syndrome has symptoms of perceptual changes similar to those experienced by the story’s protagonist, Alice. WHAT IS ALICE IN WONDERLAND SYNDROME? Other Names: Todd’s syndrome, Dysmetropsia, Lilliputian hallucinations. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS) is a rare neurological […] Read More
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Alice In Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS)
- Type A
- Type B
- Type C
- Assessment of mental health and status through psychiatry and neurology.
- Blood tests to check for infections or viruses such as EBV
- Electroencephalography (EEG); a test that measures electric activities in the brain.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan to view the image of the brain for any abnormality.
- Take medications that relieve migraines such as migraine prophylaxis, calcium channel, and beta-blockers, antidepressants, etc.
- Follow a migraine diet such as a low tyramine diet.
- Anticonvulsants and anti-epileptics to prevent seizures and epilepsy.
- Antibiotics and antiviral drugs to cure infections.
- Removal of brain tumors and lesions.
- Adequate rest
- Medications that relieve stress and help you relax.
Alice in Wonderland syndrome is characterized by episodes of perceptual changes. These changes may not be the same in every patient has it is dependent on the type of AIWS and the person affected.
Each symptom comes with an episode, occurring simultaneously within a duration of 5 to 30 minutes. Symptoms may include:
- Vision Distortion: Changes in the way you see things, which can be:
- Micropsia; things appear smaller.
- Macropsia; things appear larger.
- Pelopsia; things appear closer.
- Teleopsia; things appear farther.
- Metamorphopsia; shapes and lines appear inaccurate and distorted.
- Alternations In Body Image: Your body parts or that of people start looking different, changing in size and appearance.
- Distortions In Sound: You may start hearing sounds and tones differently and every sound or may sound too loud or too quiet.
- Distortion In Time: You lose a sense of time, making time feel too fast or too slow.
- Loss Of Coordination And Muscular Strength: Your muscles feel weak and start acting up. This affects movement and walking steps.
Other symptoms include:
The causes of Alice in Wonderland syndrome is not clear. Researches have linked several conditions to the syndrome, but many cases of the AIWS have been said to have no known cause.
There is a cause to believe that the presence of abnormal electrical activities in the brain bringing about an unusual flow of blood to the sections of the brain that controls senses and perception is associated with sensory hallucinations and perceptual changes. But this is just a theory that is yet to be proven for validity.
Causes that have been associated with AIWS include:
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and other infectious diseases such as:
- Typhoid encephalopathy
- Influenza A virus
- Streptococcus pyogenes (Scarlet fever)
- Varicella-Zoster virus
- Lyme neuroborreliosis, etc.
- Head trauma
- Brain tumors
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
- Use of psychoactive or hallucinogenic medications.
- Lesions in the brain
- Psychiatric/Psychology conditions.
The risk of having AIWS is increased when you have a family history of migraines.
What percent of people have Alice in Wonderland syndrome?
AIWS is a condition that is uncommon and only occurs a few times in an affected person's life and resolves after some time. The study estimates that the syndrome only affects 10 to 20% of the population.
What drugs cause Alice in Wonderland syndrome?
Medications that are said to cause hallucinations and distortion in senses and perception include psychoactive and hallucinogenic drugs.
How do I get rid of Alice in Wonderland syndrome?
There is no specified treatment option for AIWS. However, the suspected causes of the syndrome can be prevented or stopped. Treating these causes may like stop AIWS or not.
Treatment options include:
- Migraine medications and diets
- Antibiotics and antiviral drugs
- Anticonvulsants and anti epileptics
- Removal of lesions or tumors from the brain.
What triggers Alice in Wonderland syndrome?
AIWS causes are not clear because it has to do with perception. However, some cases have been linked to migraines, infectious diseases, certain medications, epilepsy, brain tumors or lesions, etc.
Is Alice in Wonderland syndrome rare?
Researches have identified AIWS as a rare neuropsychological disorder characterized by series of perceptual and sensory distortion occurring in episodes. It is stated to affect only 10 to 20% of the world's population.