“Alice in Wonderland Syndrome” is a Real Medical Disorder

By Seriously Science | April 25, 2018 6:18 am
Photo: wikimedia/wikimedia

Photo: wikimedia/wikimedia

Hairy elbows syndrome. Foot orgasm syndrome. Clown nose. Baboon syndrome. Occasionally doctors get less jargony and more creative (or at least more literal) with their naming of new medical disorders. Case in point: “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome”, which is the whimsical name given to a syndrome whose symptoms include “metamorphopsia (seeing something in a distorted fashion), bizarre distortions of their body image, and bizarre perceptual distortions of form, size, movement or color. Additionally, patients with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can experience auditory hallucinations and changes in their perception of time.” The cause is yet unknown. Other illness names inspired by children’s stories include Rapunzel syndrome.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: A real life version of Lewis Carroll’s novel.

“Alice in Wonderland Syndrome was originally coined by Dr. John Todd in 1955. The syndrome is named after the sensations experienced by the character Alice in Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome consists of metamorphopsia (seeing something in a distorted fashion), bizarre distortions of their body image, and bizarre perceptual distortions of form, size, movement or color. Additionally, patients with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can experience auditory hallucinations and changes in their perception of time. Currently, there is no known specific cause of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. However, theories point to infections such as the Epstein-Barr virus, medications such as topiramate and associated migraines. Neuroimaging studies have revealed brain regions involved with the manifestation of symptoms. These include the temporo-parietal junction within the temporal lobe and the visual pathway, specifically the occipital lobe. There are no current treatments for Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Further research is needed to find better treatments for Alice in Wonderland Syndrome and to elucidate the exact cause or causes of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.”

Related content:
Hairy elbows syndrome: yup, it’s a thing.
Foot orgasm syndrome. Yup, it’s a thing.
There’s actually a medical condition called “Clown Nose.”

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  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

    Alice in Wonderland Syndrome ” Washington, DC.

  • Magic Mushrooms

    I always thought Alice was just on a dose of me. It seems to be similar effects as described. Fear not though, it wears off over time.

  • OWilson

    It’s a personality issue.

    Optimist or pessimist, Doubting Thomas or Pollyanna!

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