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(p. 265) Alice in Wonderland Syndrome 

(p. 265) Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
Chapter:
(p. 265) Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
Author(s):

Jan Dirk Blom

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190245863.003.0018
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date: 17 October 2018

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.

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