What is Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can be described as a set of symptoms in which the affected individual has visual and perceptual defect. This means that the individual suffering from Alice in Wonderland syndrome would see images that may be bigger or smaller than the original size. The individual may perceive that the parts of the body especially the head, hands, and feet are longer or shorter than normal. An individual with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome will also have difficulty judging the correct size of an object. The object which may be a building, a car, or a corridor may look too long or too short to the individual than the original size.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is mostly seen in children and is more prevalent at night. Some cases of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome have also been noted in the elderly population or people in their 50s or 60s. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a benign but scary condition. As of now there is no treatment for this condition but treating the underlying cause may help eliminate the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

What is Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?

What Causes Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?

Some of the causes of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome are:

  • Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is seen in people who have migraine disorder.
  • People with temporal lobe epilepsy also appear to have Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
  • Viral infection like the Epstein-Barr virus causing infectious mononucleosis may also cause an individual to have Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

What are the Symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?

The most prevalent symptom of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome which is also the most frightening one is the perception of an altered body image. The affected individual will be confused as to the size and shape of their body parts, especially the head, hands, legs which may seem more longer than normal or as if these parts have shrunk to a smaller size.

The second symptom observed in people with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is difficulty with visual perception. The eyes themselves will be normal but the size and shape of the object that the individual sees will be altered. This means that objects like cars, buildings and the like may look smaller or larger than their original size to the individual.

Some of the other symptoms related to Alice in Wonderland Syndrome are:

  • Distortion of time perception with either the time moving too fast or too slow
  • Distortion in touch perception like the ground feeling too hard even if there is carpeting or feeling too spongy even if the individual may be walking on hard cemented floor
  • The individual suffering from Alice in Wonderland Syndrome may hear sounds in an incorrect way meaning that the affected individual will have problems with sound perception as well.

How is Alice in Wonderland Syndrome Treated?

As of now, there is no definitive treatment for Alice in Wonderland Syndrome but the symptoms caused by it can be managed by treating the underlying cause of it. This means that if this condition is caused by Migraines then treatment of migraine disorder either by lifestyle and dietary modifications or by preventive or abortive medications can treat the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

Children with temporal lobe epilepsy need to consult with a neurologist who will prescribe adequate medication to control the seizures and thus control the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Infections like Epstein-Barr virus and infectious mononucleosis can be treated with medications and thus help control the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 8, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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