Saturday, March 14, 2015

Alice in Wonderland syndrome

Came across this interesting syndrome a few days back. Described by Dr. John Todd 1955, it is also known as Todd's syndrome or lilliputian syndrome. The causative factors involved are usually migraines, tumors or hallucinogens. Epstein Barr virus is also thought to be associated with it.

The patients mainly experience 'dysmetropsia'- distortion of visual perceptions but with no pathologies whatsoever in the eyes. 
Objects are perceived either to be small than they actually are, or large. Also, they may appear to be distant or nearer than the true position.

Eg, People may appear to be no longer than the thumb of one's hand, corridors may appear to be longer than they actually are!

The patients may have an altered self bodily image- they may find their organs of varied size and maybe shapes.

Prolongation of intrapsychic time may occur. That is, for the patient, time appears to pass very slowly than it actually does, similar to what supposedly happens with LSD.

Disturbances in perception of speed may occur. Even if the patient walks at a sedate pace, they may feel they are travelling at a blistering speed, that they will collide with the furnitures!

Affected people range from children to early/ late teens but it is also found in people in their late 70s.
The hallucinations are temporary but may occur many times throughout the day. Most occurrences are at the onset of sleep.

Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, was also known to have migraine. There are reports of him visiting to an ophthalmologist for certain visual problems. Dr. Todd thus speculated that Carroll used his disease himself as an inspiration for the story!

2 comments:

  1. Whoa... Never heard of this "Alice in Wonderland" until today ahha awesome!
    Must be some terrible condition to see yourself in odd shapes haha

    Thanks guys!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good to know you found it interesting! Right, it sure must be terrifying to see things distorted!

    ReplyDelete

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