Todd’s Syndrome, more frequently called Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AWS), is one of the most disorienting neurological symptoms described in the medical literature. Estimated to affect 10-20% of the population, Alice in Wonderland syndrome is an infrequent event that affects human visual perception, occurring only a few times during one’s life. The experience varies among people, with one consistent feature being the sudden sense of dystrophy, unrelated to long-term or short-term disability.
The symptoms also include altered perceptions of the shapes of inanimate and animate things. Some things look smaller than they are (micropsia), whereas other things appear larger (macropsia) than normal. There can also be a weakened sense of the passage of time and/or the feeling of “zooming” into the surrounding environment. These episodes are predominantly short-lived, often less than an hour, and may occur up to several times a day, unpredictably. The affected individuals suffer from visual hallucinations and the feeling that their bodies have changed in size.
Causes of AWS ( Alice in Wonderland Syndrome )
There are no evident causes of AWS, as doctors are still trying to understand the condition better. However, there is a consensus that AWS is not a problem to be associated with your eyes, a hallucination, or a mental or neurological illness.
Researchers reveal an unusual electrical activity happening in the brain which leads to unusual blood flow to the parts of the brain that process your environment and experience visual perception. This abnormal electrical activity may be the outcome of several causes.
One study revealed that more than 30 percent of people who experienced AWS had infections. Head trauma and migraines were linked to 6 percent of AWS cases, whereas more than half of AWS episodes were due to unknown causes.
Although not definitive, migraines are considered the main cause for AWS in adults, and infection the main cause for AWS in children.
Other believed causes may include:
- Use of preventive drugs
- Brain tumor
- Cough syrup
If the belived cause is infection, the infection should be treated.
If the doctor and the patient both suspect that stress plays a role, medical treatment and relaxation may help.
AWS symptoms usually improve with time. The condition rarely leads to complications or problems.
Although this syndrome is not necessarily the result of migraines, there is a possibility of developing migraines if you have AWS.
The symptoms of AWS, or Tedd’s Syndrome, can certainly be confusing, even if they are not harmful. However, in some cases, these symptoms may indicate a more serious problem.
The syndrome can affect individuals several times in a day for consecutive days, with symptoms sometimes disappearing for days or weeks on end.
There are no proven treatment methods for AWS, although rest and diet changes are advised. In most cases, the syndrome is self-terminating and disappears with the onset of adulthood.