Alice in Wonderland syndrome; Everything about this strange disease

Alice in Wonderland syndrome, also known as Todd's syndrome or dysmetropsia, is a neuro-physiological disorder. because of it, the human understanding of the surrounding environment is distorted. Patients with Alice in Wonderland syndrome experience many visual distortions in addition to other symptoms. For example, it is possible for the patient to see an object smaller or larger than usual, and these two disorders are known as micropsia and macropsia, respectively. Also, objects and people may appear closer (pleopsia) or farther (teleopsia) than normal. Of course, it should be noted that the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome are not limited to visual disturbances and other senses are also involved.

BingMag.com Alice in Wonderland syndrome; Everything about this strange disease

Alice in Wonderland syndrome, also known as Todd's syndrome or dysmetropsia, is a neuro-physiological disorder. because of it, the human understanding of the surrounding environment is distorted. Patients with Alice in Wonderland syndrome experience many visual distortions in addition to other symptoms. For example, it is possible for the patient to see an object smaller or larger than usual, and these two disorders are known as micropsia and macropsia, respectively. Also, objects and people may appear closer (pleopsia) or farther (teleopsia) than normal. Of course, it should be noted that the symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome are not limited to visual disturbances and other senses are also involved.

At the time of this writing, there is no known cause for this occurrence. The disease has not been detected. Having said that, it seems that migraine headaches, head trauma and intracerebral inflammations originating from Epstein-Barr virus infection are directly related to this syndrome. Currently, it is hypothesized that the cause of Alice syndrome in The wonderland is due to the abnormal activity of the body's electricity. This causes the blood flow to fluctuate in the parts of the brain that are related to visual perception. Among the other wonders of this rare disease, it is possible to point out that this syndrome is not limited to adults and it is possible for children to feel similar experiences.

In general, Alice in Wonderland syndrome. In some circles and books, it has been classified into different sub-branches. Depending on the type of changes a person experiences, researchers determine a specific category for a person's disease. Some scientists believe that Alice in Wonderland syndrome should be considered as a result of changing the patient's perception of his own body. Therefore, any symptom that causes a change in the perception of the five senses and time is another disorder that should be known as the Alice in Wonderland syndrome. With all these interpretations, a single classification has not yet been determined in the field of classification of this rare disease.

Why is Alice in Wonderland syndrome also known as Todd syndrome?

BingMag.com Alice in Wonderland syndrome; Everything about this strange disease

This disease may also be written as Todd syndrome in some texts. The cause of this incident goes back to the time when Dr. John Todd found out about this disease in 1955 in a hospital located in West Yorkshire. Dr. Todd noticed that some of his patients experience severe headaches, and these headaches cause people to face problems in recognizing the correct size ratio of objects and people in their surroundings. Also, this doctor realized that the patients' perception of their own body is also distorted. At first, he assumed that the patients were experiencing such problems due to brain tumors, but later Dr. Todd realized that there were no brain tumors or damage to the eyeballs in the patients. On the other hand, it is not considered a psychological illness; Because people could easily express in language what is real and what is imaginary. However, the perception of Dr. John Todd's patients was strangely distorted.

To describe this disease, Dr. Todd remembered the fantasy novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" written by Lewis Kroll in the year In 1865, he studied writing. The interesting point of the story is that before writing such a story, the author of this novel consulted an ophthalmologist named William Bowman about his own experiences regarding seeing things and people big and small. In fact, it seems that the author of the story of Alice in Wonderland was considered a good example in the field of suffering from this disease. Based on this, Dr. Todd thinks that Lewis Kroll used his own experiences as a suitable source of inspiration to create a fictional story. Precisely because of this, the name of this disease was called Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

Dr. Todd initially thought that he was the first person to discover this strange phenomenon. However, a literature review revealed that World War I and World War II soldiers who suffered from occipital lobe injuries also experienced symptoms related to Alice in Wonderland syndrome. Of course, there is another story. It seems that researchers named Coleman and Lippman were the first people to discover this disease in 1933 by examining the symptoms of this syndrome with the story of Alice. Of course, there is one last assumption that Lewis Kroll did not suffer from any mental or perceptual problems and these illusions were only due to the effect of the hallucinogenic mushroom called Amanita muscaria. Accepting this hypothesis, it must be accepted that Kroll was well aware of the damage and effects of this fungus.

Signs and symptoms of Alice in Wonderland syndrome

If all the symptoms are considered, something like 60 symptoms related to this syndrome have been seen so far. Also, symptoms such as migraine headaches, diarrhea, dizziness and confusion are among the most common symptoms of this syndrome. Less common symptoms of this disease include loss of body control, memory loss, emotional instability, and reduced sense of touch.

Change in perception due to Alice in Wonderland syndrome does not mean that the patient is in all situations. And he is experiencing such events all day and night. For a short period of time, the person will experience a series of changes that are often visual. An interval of events is called an episode. The point here is that episodes vary between patients. Therefore, it is not supposed that another person will face exactly the same events that one patient experienced. Episodes can last from a few minutes to an hour. Depending on the severity of the patient's involvement with this syndrome, the severity of the episodes can increase or decrease. Although each episode can be extremely varied, four general categories of symptoms have been proposed. They have an unusual understanding of the external environment. However, it is interesting that people can have such experiences with their own bodies. For example, the patient may imagine that his body is shrinking. This concept and complication is called microsomatognosia. The patient can imagine the same disorder in the opposite way, which is called macrosomatognosia. Of course, such distortions are not limited to patients with Alice in Wonderland syndrome, and patients with certain neurological diseases also experience visual hallucinations. In general, in various books, changing the perception of the surrounding environment is called Lilliputian hallucinations. Normally, most patients with this syndrome, in terms of visual perception changes, only experience micropsia and macropsia.

Illusions

One of the important symptoms of this disease is an illusion called Zoopsia is when the patient imagines that small and large animals are moving around him. The spectrum of animal vision is extremely diverse and patients can imagine from mice and crabs to larger animals such as elephants, giraffes and dogs in their imaginary world. Zoepsia hallucinations are often associated with other disorders such as delirium and fever and chills. The higher the patient's fever, the worse the said hallucination will increase significantly. There is another critical disorder that he experiences throughout his life. The affected person may imagine that he is out of his own body and in a worse scenario, he may even see himself separated from the outside world.

Auditory and temporal distortions

Sufferers of this syndrome They can also experience paranoia because they are challenged in understanding environmental sounds. Patients may misunderstand or misinterpret some words and conversations. In the worst possible case, the patient can lose track of time. Part of this is due to the loss of spatial perception due to visual distortions. In simpler language, the patient may imagine that time is passing slowly or, on the other hand, that time is passing quickly. The severity of the distortion in time perception depends on the severity of other symptoms. For this reason, it is not possible to determine exactly which factor or factors are the origin and cause of the time distortions. 23806-4.jpg" class="content-pics" alt="BingMag.com Alice in Wonderland syndrome; Everything about this strange disease" title="BingMag.com Alice in Wonderland syndrome; Everything about this strange disease" loading="lazy">

Since few people with this syndrome visit a doctor for treatment, it will be difficult to identify this syndrome in the first place. For this reason, one of the main challenges of finding the cause of the disease can be summed up in the fact that the vision of the disease is not very accurate to be able to fully focus on the stimulating and inhibiting factors. At present, as it was said before, no known and scientifically arguable reason for this syndrome has been found. However, Alice in Wonderland syndrome appears to interact with other neurological disorders. Currently, researchers and scientists have been able to follow the threads of many symptoms to branches; Branches that can be classified into four categories. The key to treating Alice in Wonderland syndrome may be in fully understanding one of these four branches.

Infectious diseases

In a review study published in 2021, infectious diseases are the most common cause of Alice in Wonderland syndrome was reported. Some of the infectious agents associated with this syndrome include Epstein-Barr virus, varicella zoster, influenza, Zika, Plasmodium falciparum, Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, and Streptococcus pyogenes. However, it is generally seen that this syndrome is often associated with Epstein-Barr virus. With all these interpretations, at the time of writing this article, it has not yet been determined what exactly is the advantage of the Epstein-Barr virus over other viral factors that have a direct impact on the appearance of Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

Hypotheses brain

earlier to this point It was pointed out that a strong hypothesis for the cause of this syndrome is abnormal blood flow in parts of the brain that are related to visual perception. Researchers have reached this assumption through numerous studies by observing the blood supply of the brain. For example, during the monitoring of episodes of this syndrome in the affected person, it was found that cerebral blood circulation has seriously decreased in some brain areas such as the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. Perhaps the reduction of blood flow in the pathways that are related to visual perception will cause serious fluctuations that the person experiences the symptoms of this syndrome temporarily. show a decrease in blood flow in the temporal lobe. Some scientists and researchers believe that this syndrome is not caused by a specific reason, and in general, any disorder, even a seizure, can be considered as a reason for suffering from this syndrome. Based on computer imaging, it has been determined that areas such as the temporoparietal junction, parietal lobe, visual pathway, and especially the occipital lobe are most closely related to this syndrome. It is not known exactly what role migraine headaches play in the mechanism of Alice in Wonderland syndrome. However, local ischemia usually occurs during migraine attacks. Ischemia is the loss of living cells due to interruption of blood supply. For this reason, probably migraine headaches have a direct role in causing this disease. Of course, if we assume that the hypothesis of blood supply with abnormal flow is the main cause of this syndrome.

Genetic and external factors

Despite the fact that a gene has not yet been discovered as the main cause of all these events, Researchers believe that a significant percentage of the cause of Alice in Wonderland syndrome is related to the patient's genetics. Even in the field of migraine headaches, genetic factors are involved. In a specific study of children who are involved in this syndrome, their parents have also experienced mild changes in their perception. Apparently, the use of some chemical drugs can increase the chance of getting Alice in Wonderland syndrome. For example, topiramate drug poisoning has been shown to have a direct effect on aggravating the symptoms of this syndrome. Also, since children face this syndrome more than adults, this hypothesis has been proposed that maybe differences in brain structure are involved in the occurrence of this disease.

Diagnosis and treatment of Alice in Wonderland syndrome

BingMag.com Alice in Wonderland syndrome; Everything about this strange disease

There are no specific drugs to treat Alice in Wonderland syndrome, but there are good strategies to manage symptoms.

There are still no approved and documented guidelines through which the diagnostic process of this syndrome will be made known to the public. Since most of the symptoms of this syndrome are related to the mind and perception, if the patient does not speak to express his problems, it will be extremely difficult to diagnose this disease. Patients involved with this syndrome often don't want to talk about it with other people; Because they are afraid of being labeled as a mental patient. Usually, children face more challenges in describing their illness than adults. For this reason, children and adolescents are usually asked to describe their symptoms on paper instead of describing them verbally. Blood tests, ECG, and MRI imaging of the brain of people suspected of this syndrome are usually recommended by doctors. After understanding and finding the symptoms, it is possible to work to reduce these symptoms and hallucinations.

There are no specific drugs to treat Alice in Wonderland syndrome, but still, there are good strategies to manage the symptoms. provided For example, the use of anti-convulsant, anti-migraine, anti-viral and antibiotic drugs is recommended to patients. Also, a diet with a low amount of tyramine is extremely beneficial; Because one of the requirements for reducing migraine headaches and balancing blood flow intensity is reducing the level of tyramine. Also, other drugs that are used to prevent migraines are likely to be effective in reducing the severity of the symptoms of the syndrome as well as reducing the duration of the episodes. Therefore, antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers are a suitable line of treatment to prevent the syndrome from worsening. On the other hand, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) is another treatment method that still needs better and more accurate research to be used on an international scale.

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