Alice in Wonderland Syndrome Paula Oronoz

Diagnosis and symptoms

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, actually called Todd’s syndrome, is a disorienting neurological condition that affects visual perception.

Its symptoms include episodes where perception of shapes and sizes is altered, the incapability to sense time, and hallucinations.


Dr. John Todd first described AIWS in 1955. Its name was inspired by the novel Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, because the syndrome was similar. Illusory alternation was seen in soldiers after WWII as hysteria, but Coleman and Lippman did a comparison between hysteria and AIWS realizing that they are two different syndrome. It was suggested that Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland based on his own experiences of migraine followed by a strange phenomena. This study was inconclusive, but when studies arrived to Todd, him having experienced migraine and hallucinations, created a new group of symptoms by adopting the name.

Diagnosis criteria

The diagnostic criteria are still in need of development. Some are:

- Derealization

- Depersonalization

- Hyperschematia

- Hyposchematia

- Somatopsychic Duality

- Illusionary changes in size, distance, or position of inanimate objects

- Migraines

- Stress

- Brain Tumors

- Epilepsy

- Infections

- Drugs


There are no treatments for this syndrome, however there are changes in patients diet.


It is estimated to occur among 10-20% of the population.

In studies, 55.6% of patients were male.

Most patients are under 18.


Created with images by Cea. - "[ T ] Maggie Taylor - Alice in Wonderland (2007)"

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