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The Alice in Worderland Syndrome.

ABSTRACT

The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS) was first described more than 60 years ago by Lippman. It refers to episodes during which an individual may variously experience (as did Alice during her time in Wonderland) somatic, visuo-perceptual and/or visuo-spatial hallucinations, as well as feelings of depersonalisation, derealisation and distorted sense of time. Although the prevalence of AWS is unknown, indirect evidence from both retrospective and prospective studies suggests that it is a rare disorder. This paper describes the case of Zoe, a right-handed, native English speaker who was age 45 years when she experienced an episode of AWS. On neuropsychological assessment, Zoe demonstrated notable impairment of attention, learning and recall (particularly for visuo-spatial information) as well as executive dysfunction (viz., impairment of planning, cognitive flexibility and abstraction), consistent with fronto-temporal dysfunction. Detailed profiles of neuropsychological impairment in the context of AWS have not previously been reported, and it is unclear if such impairment is, indeed, a central and characteristic feature of AWS.