Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland.jpgAlice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is a rather peculiar disorder that certainly befits its title. It was given its name due to the fact that the syndrome's symptoms are remarkably similar to the distortions in body image and shape as experienced by the main character in Lewis Carrol's 1865 novel "Alice in Wonderland". Objects either appear to be much larger (macropsia) or smaller (micropsia) than normal, and there is usually also an impaired perception of time and place.

One woman with the syndrome even described how short and wide she felt when walking, calling this sensation the "tweedle-dum or tweedle-dee" effect. The disorder has been closely linked to migraine headaches, a problem, incidentally, that Lewis Carroll suffered greatly from. This has led some scholars to suggest that the author may have experienced the syndrome himself.

Other associated conditions include epilepsy, Infectious Mononucleosis, and viral infections such as Epstein Barr virus (the most common cause of Infectious Mononucleosis) and coxsackievirus. Psychotropic drugs may also play a part, as evidenced in the novel when Alice ingested the cake which resulted in symptoms remarkably similar to those brought on by hallucinogenic-containing mushroom fly agaric or amanita muscara).

Some Japanese doctors have even stated that some of the ingredients of cough syrup could also cause Alice in Wonderland symptoms, although further studies need to be undertaken on this matter. 1

Reference:

  1. Takaoka K, Takata T - 'Alice in Wonderland' syndrome and Lilliputian hallucinations in a patient with a substance-related disorder. Psychopathology 1999 Jan-Feb; 32(1): 47-9.

News

Some complementary therapies may help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

It is believed by researchers that cardiovascular health and stress are linked in some way, but it is unclear what the association is. A new study has recently investigated the effects of a unique kind of stress – work-family conflict.

Many of us know that these beliefs are irrational, yet still abide by them. Why do we do it? Do superstitions fulfil an important psychological role? What are some of the mechanisms that explain these beliefs? How do superstitions affect our mental wellbeing?

When one sense is activated in a person with synesthesia, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time. This may, for instance, take the form of hearing music and simultaneously sensing the sound as swirls or patterns of color.

The COMPLEMENTARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (The CMA) © 2012. No part of this site may be reproduced without the express permission of The Complementary Medical Association. If used without prior consent a charge of US $1,000 per article, or mini section is paid (US $50 per word (minimum) will be charged. This is not meant to reflect a commercial rate for the content, but as a punitive cost and to reimburse The CMA for legal fees and time costs). Use of the contents, without permission will be taken as consent to bill the illegal user in full.