Today’s odd diagnosis

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland syndrome is one of the most fascinating neurological symptoms described in the medical literature. Estimated to occur among about 10-20% of the population, Alice in Wonderland syndrome is an infrequent event that is believed to occur only a few times throughout the lives of most affected individuals. It is an experience that people can describe with varying levels of detail, the consistent feature being a fleeting sense of dystrophism without associated long-term or short-term disability.

Case reports illustrate a cluster of related symptoms. Most often, a perception of becoming physically smaller or physically larger in comparison to surroundings is the central detail. However, there may be an impression that a person’s surroundings are growing or shrinking rather than the person himself. Other narratives include distortions in visual awareness, including the sense that fixed surroundings are moving.

Given the fleeting passage of the experience and the lack of major medical issues associated with the perceptual peculiarities, it is difficult to ascertain with certainty whether Alice in Wonderland syndrome affects more people than the numbers estimated in the medical literature. Most people who experience it would be unlikely to report it to a medical professional without a reason.

Among adults, people who have migraine, epilepsy, or head trauma are the most likely to report Alice in Wonderland syndrome. Alice in Wonderland syndrome in the context of migraine aura is by far the most prevalent association described on adults. Children who relay the features of Alice in Wonderland syndrome are noted to have an approximately 50% chance of developing a subsequent infection and a very high likelihood of developing migraine headaches as they get older.

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall


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