ALICE IN WONDERLAND SYNDROME

“Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome also known as Todd’s syndrome or lilliputian hallucinations, is a disorienting neurological condition that affects human perception. Sufferers may experience micropsiamacropsia, or size distortion of other sensory modalities. A temporary condition, it is often associated with migrainesbrain tumors, and the use of psychoactive drugs. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is experienced after ingestion of muscimol. The famous hallucinogenic that Alice from Alice in Wonderland eats (“red and white toadstool”) is Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric, which contains the psychoactive alkaloid muscimol. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is sometimes called Todd’s syndrome, in reference to an influential description of the condition by John Todd (1914-1987) in 1955, a British psychiatrist who worked in Yorkshire. Todd discovered that several patients under his care experienced severe migraine headaches causing them to see and perceive objects as greatly out of proportion.  Since Lewis Carroll was a well-known migraine sufferer with similar symptoms, John Todd speculated that Carroll had used his own migraine experiences as a source of inspiration for his famous 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll’s diary reveals that in 1856 he consulted William Bowman, an eminent ophthalmologist about the visual manifestations of migraine he regularly experienced. Since Lewis Carroll suffered from these symptoms of migraine years before writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it is reasonable to presume that Carroll used his experiences as inspiration.”