Alice in Wonderland Syndrome-Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Treatment
AIWS or Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a condition that is named after the novel authored by Lewis Caroll. It also goes by another name, Todd’s syndrome. It is a puzzling neurological state where it affects the perception of the human mind. Patients having this syndrome experiences distortion of sizes of what he/she sees also referred to as macropsia or micropsia. This temporary state is oftentimes linked with brain tumors, migraines and the usage of psychoactive drugs. It can also resemble as the first sign of Epstein-Barr virus, a virus belonging to the herpes hierarchy and is associated with certain forms of cancer and HIV. Symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome are commonly happening during the childhood years but usually disappear when they reached their teens. It is also suggested that AIWS usually happens at the beginning of sleep.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome Symptoms
Aside from the distortion of sizes as perceived by the patient, they are likely to experience other symptoms as well. Majority of which are perceptual disconnection such as:
• Agnosia or memory loss – Although some believe that this is a side-effect of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. The patient experiences difficulty in thinking about each movement and also difficulty in paying attention to other things, and even difficulty in remembering things.
• General mismanagement or losing control of the limbs – This is the result of the distorted perception that the patient is experiencing in front of him/her.
• Still continues to hear some sounds even when the sounds have already stopped.
• Hallucinations of touch sensation occur; lingering sensations of touch also happen. This is the sensation that the patient still continues to feel the touch even if they have halted touching it.
• Walking on sponges sensation. The patient feels that the ground is not firm.
• Perception where only certain parts of the body are growing larger.
• A feeling of walking for eternity without any goal – a feeling like walking on an endless road.
• Sound distortion – Even a small movement gives the patient clattering sound. This makes the patient paranoid and scared to move.
Amongst the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome mentioned above, the most renowned is the perception of the alteration of the body parts. It gives confusion to the patient who experiences seeing the shape and size of their body parts as out of proportion or not normal.
Below are some possible causes of Alice in Wonderland syndrome:
• Typical migraine where pain is not essentially experienced.
• Epstein–Barr virus which causes infectious mononucleosis. This is also known as mono or glandular fever.
• Temporal lobe epilepsy – A condition portrayed by the repeated occurrence of uncalled-for seizures which originates from the lateral or medial temporal lobe. The person loses his or her awareness at the time of a multifaceted partial seizure due to the seizure spreading to involve all temporal lobes which results to memory loss.
• Delirium Tremens – due to abuse of alcohol.
• Brain tumors
• Certain drugs which include cough syrups that contain dextromethorphan.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS) Pictures
Alice in Wonderland syndrome is more of a disturbance of the perception of things rather than a particular physiological change to the systems of the body. Presumably, the diagnosis is done when other causes are ruled out and at the same time the person shows symptoms together with migraines. Frequent onset of migraines and perception disturbance during the day could also point to AIWS, although it could also occur at night. The presence of sound distortion further leads to AIWS diagnosis.
Although Alice in Wonderland syndrome is fairly common, there are only a few around the world who have encountered it and only a number of medical practitioners who have actually come across patients with the syndrome. There is scarcely few information before on how to cope with this syndrome but now there are hundreds of them.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome Treatment
Usually there is no treatment for Alice in Wonderland syndrome since the root cause of the syndrome should be the one treated. For most common causes such as migraines there are hundreds of remedies coupled with dietary restrictions in order to help alleviate the symptoms. Samples of medicines for migraines are anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, beta blockers and antidepressants. These medicines should be used together with a strict migraine diet.
Anti-epilepsy treatments work as well. Majority of patients experiencing AIWS find a cure on their own that perfectly works for them. During episodes of the syndrome, they find some place nice and quiet where they can feel safe and which will help calm themselves. Others use headphones to block out sounds that have become too loud. Acute AIWS is impossible to treat and one must bear it until it wears off.
Living a healthy lifestyle helps lessen the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome. Avoid stress buildup, dehydration and tiredness. It is also recommended to get help from occupational therapists to find ways to adapt to the environment for their needs; although it is also a must for these professionals to be familiar with and have handled cases of AIWS previously.