Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AiWS) is a relatively common neuro-psychological condition in children that distorts a person’s senses. It’s much rarer in adults.

A sufferer may perceive that something is bigger or smaller than it actually is or may feel that something is closer or further away than it actually is.¬†AiWS can also affect a person’s sense of hearing; they may hear a sound as being closer or further away than it actually is. In some cases it can even affect a person’s sense of time passing; things may feel as if they are going really slowly or unbelievably quickly.

The cause isn’t 100% known yet but many neurologists have attributed it to a change in blood flow or electrical activity in the Parietal lobe, which is the part of the brain that processes how we interpret sensory information.

In some cases AiWS can be triggered by migraines. Several neurologists including Dr Sheena Aurora have conducted M.R.I scans on patients who suffer both migraines and AiWS and found that once the migraine has past, activity in the Parietal lobe would return to normal and the patient’s senses would also return to normal.

In the case of migraine induced AiWS it is often hereditary so parents pass the condition on to their children. Symptoms often first arise when the child is about six and normally they would have seen the last of it in their early-mid twenties.

There are several other known triggers though; from stress, influenza infections, tumours, strokes and the use of psychoactive drugs ranging from cocaine and MDMA to some allergy medicines such as Benadryl.

As the cause of the symptoms isn’t exactly known, there isn’t a proven and effective treatment for AiWS. Treatments for migraines can apparently bring some relief to sufferers and following a diet designed to prevent migraines can also bring about long term relief.

As terrifying as symptoms can be for the sufferer they are ultimately harmless and will pass with time.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed and I hope that you were able to learn something new about Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

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By Richard Francis

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