[Characteristics and evolution of patients with Alice in Wonderland syndrome]

Rev Neurol. 2011 Dec 1;53(11):641-8.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a process characterized for complex disorders of the visual perception with multiple etiologies.

Aim: To evaluate the clinical, electrophysiological, etiological characteristics and natural evolution in children with Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

Patients and methods: We have realized a retrospective study by what means of a review of 20 clinical histories of 18 year old minor patients diagnosed of Alice in Wonderland syndrome from January 1995 until February 2010.

Results: The average of age to the diagnosis was 9.5 ± 3.8 years (range: 4-16 years). It appeared in an acute way in 85% and progressive in 15%. 90% had micropsias and/or macropsias, 85% distortion of the form of the objects, 80% displacement of objects, 45% disturbances of body image, 45% acceleration of the time and 30% sensation of unreality. 95% of the children had many episodes a day; these episodes lasted less than 3 minutes in 90%. Electroencephalogram was realized in all the patients, it was abnormal in 11 cases, in one case was found and epileptic foci (left temporal) and in 10 cases was found posterior slow waves. The tests of neuroimagen were normal in all the patients. The visual evoked potentials were realized in 7 children; five of these children showed higher amplitude in evoked potentials and two of these children had normal. The infectious etiology was found in nine cases (five partners to Epstein-Barr virus), migraine in eight, toxins in two and epilepsy in one case. 80% did not have recurrence.

Conclusions: Alice in Wonderland syndrome is a benign process with trend to spontaneous resolution and without recurrence in the majority of the occasions. The principal etiologies are migraine and Epstein-Barr virus infection.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*