Chapter

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Jan Dirk Blom

in Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2016 | ISBN: 9780190245863
Published online March 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190245887 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med:psych/9780190245863.003.0018
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

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The symptoms that are considered characteristic of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS) are quite diverse and constitute distortions of regular sense perception (i.e., distortions of visual, somaesthetic, temporal, and self-perception). Although these symptoms are often of short duration, especially in children, extended episodes can occur. Many cases are benign and self-limiting, but symptoms of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome can occur in the context of Epstein-Barr virus encephalitis, cerebral lesion, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Most of the symptoms characteristic of AIWS traditionally are attributed to central (as opposed to peripheral) nervous mechanisms. Epidemiological surveys and clinical prevalence studies of AIWS are lacking, but the syndrome is generally considered rare. Studies among clinical populations, however, indicate that its prevalence may well be underestimated.

Keywords: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome; macropsia; micropsia; metamorphopsia; megalopsia; assessment; treatment; case study

Chapter.  7893 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Clinical Adult Psychology

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