Alice-in-Wonderland-Syndrome, or AIWS, is a perceptual disorder where objects or people may seem to be out of proportion, different in size than they should be, colored strangely, or too far or too close away. The size disturbances include micropsia, where the object being looked at appears too small and macropsia, where objects seem too large. Sometimes, objects seem farther away than they should be, as in teleopsia.
If the problem is not in size or distance, it can even involve color, as in achromatopsia, where there is no perception of color. When the hallucination involves people, the person can appear too small, as in Lilliputian hallucinations (yes, this is the name of the disorder).
In a sufferer, the eye is normal and there are no defects that would lead to the perceptual distortions associated with the disorder. Instead, the problems lay in the brain. There are theories that the disorder can arise during Epstein-Barr viral infection, which causes infectious mononucleosis (IM).
Sufferers of chronic migraines have reported visual disturbances that occur prior to onset of migraine pain. AIWS is sometimes associated with these hallucinogenic migraines. The AIWS episodes can occur even without the pain of a migraine. It is not fully known why AIWS occurs, especially when it is in conjunction with migraines.
One other possible cause of AIWS is temporal lobe epilepsy. As the name implies, the temporal lobes of the brain are involved. The temporal lobes, which are at the sides of your brain, control the brain’s language center, and are an important area in auditory processing. Why AIWS may be associated with this form of epilepsy is also unknown.
- Migraine Pearls or Onions? 7/26/12 (puttingourheadstogether.com)
- For My Migraine Followers (sarahberardi.com)
- Rare Illustrations of “Alice in Wonderland” by Salvador Dali (complex.com)
- Living with Chronic Migraines. (mundaneadventurer.wordpress.com)
- Migraines (siddhealer.wordpress.com)