Alice in Wonderland Syndrome: Symptoms and Treatment
Tens of thousands of various neurological disorders are known to modern medicine. And one of them is Alice’s syndrome in Wonderland. This condition is considered one of the most unusual and rare, as it is accompanied by a very characteristic violation of the perception of reality.
Alice's Wonderland Syndrome: What is it?
This disorder is one of the rarest and, of course, amazing pathologies in modern neurological practice. Such an interesting name was given to him by chance. Surely everyone remembers Carroll’s fairy tale about a girl Alice, who came to a strange place where almost all objects had uncharacteristic dimensions, could change shape and proportions.
Approximately the same happens with patients suffering from this disease. Suddenly, a huge mansion may seem like a toy house, and small watches will grow to gigantic sizes, completely hiding its owner.Such a violation of perception of size extremely negatively affects the patient's quality of life, his mental and emotional state. So why does this ailment arise and is it possible to fight it somehow?
Brief historical background
Of course, such a disorder in modern medical practice is recorded very rarely. The first mention of violations of this type appeared only in 1952 - they were described by Dr. Lippmann. And in 1955, thanks to the work of the Canadian doctor John Toll, more specific descriptions of the symptoms of the disease appeared. It was this specialist who first tried to find out the causes of the disorder.
It is rumored that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson himself, who in the world of literature is known under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, suffered from this disorder. Some people claim that the author wrote his famous book Alice in Wonderland during such attacks. But in fact there are no facts confirming the presence of this disease in him, therefore, most likely, this is just speculation.
What are the causes of the disorder?
Why do some people develop Alice’s syndrome in Wonderland? The causes of this disease may be different.And to this day, research is underway that would help to clarify the mechanism of the occurrence of such a disorder. Scientists were able to identify some risk factors with which the occurrence of violations may be associated:
- According to statistics, children under the age of 13 suffer from such perception problems more often. As they age, seizures become less frequent.
- This syndrome often develops on the background of schizophrenia.
- Risk factors also include epilepsy.
- It has been suggested that the syndrome may develop after infection of the body with Epstein-Barr virus.
- Sometimes the cause is mononucleosis.
- Such a condition may indicate the presence of malignant brain tumors.
- Also, a violation sometimes appears on the background of taking hallucinogenic drugs and drugs, including marijuana and LSD.
Unfortunately, the causes of Alice’s syndrome cannot always be determined. Sometimes careful examinations of the patient do not give any results.
Alice's Syndrome in Wonderland: photos and description of the main symptoms
In fact, such a violation may be accompanied by various signs.What is the most common Alice in Wonderland syndrome? Its symptoms are the so-called macro or micropsia. What it is?
Micropsy is a neurological condition, which is accompanied by almost complete distortion of spatial perception. For example, cars on the sidelines can become the size of a toy, and a small pebble on the road suddenly grows into a huge boulder. Moreover, the walls can move one another, the floor can become vertical, the chairs move, fly in the air, or even dance.
Against the background of such a disorder, visual perception can be distorted to such an extent that a person completely loses control over reality.
Are there any physiological changes?
Of course, over the past decade, many studies have been conducted, the purpose of which would be to explain the occurrence of such attacks. During testing, it was found that in the background of the disease there are no changes in the anatomy or physiology of the eyes, including the retina.
Thus, it was suggested that human eyes work normally, transferring the obtained images to the visual centers of the brain.The problem of the patient, who has been diagnosed with Alice syndrome in Wonderland, is that the brain no longer correctly interprets the information that it receives thanks to the organs of vision.
What does a fit look like?
In most cases, Alice’s syndrome in Wonderland is accompanied by seizures. They can last from a few minutes to several hours or even days. During this period, patients note a distortion of what they see: objects become incredibly large, sometimes very small, and distortion of proportions is observed. As in the well-known book of the same name, it is very difficult for a person to distinguish imagination from reality: the images that arise in the brain are very real.
As a rule, such attacks are accompanied by a feeling of disorientation and fear. Often, heart palpitations, fast breathing, and other components of a panic attack are associated with the main symptoms. Often, a seizure is preceded by a severe headache (according to statistics, many people with this disease also suffer from constant migraines).
Are there effective treatments?
What should a person diagnosed with Alice in Wonderland do? Treatment, of course, exists, but, unfortunately, there are no drugs that can completely stop the attacks. For a start, doctors recommend to undergo a complete diagnosis. If it is possible to determine the causes of impaired spatial perception and eliminate them, then there is a good chance that the seizures will disappear altogether (for example, patients are prescribed medications for epilepsy, neuroleptics, and if there is a brain tumor, chemotherapy or surgery is performed). There is also evidence that migraine medications help some patients with seizures. Naturally, you will need classes with a psychoanalyst or a psychiatrist - experts will help the patient cope with emotional instability and depression in the background of attacks.
What are the projections for patients?
Unfortunately, Alice’s syndrome in Wonderland is quite difficult to treat. With the help of properly selected drugs and psychotherapeutic methods, it is possible to reduce the frequency and duration of seizures, to reduce the moments of impaired perception to a minimum.Proper treatment will help the patient lead a normal life and adapt to society without any problems. Unfortunately, getting rid of the disease forever extremely difficult.