Did Lewis Carroll have AIWS (Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, also known as Todd's Syndrome)?I'm researching him for my author fair and this information seems to pop up a lot...

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Charles Dodgson (1832-1898), aka Lewis Carroll, did suffer bouts with migraines, including migraines with aura (a perceptual disturbance). Migraines are a common malady related with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (aka Todd's Syndrome), but they are also associated with epilepsy, and at least one of Carroll's doctors diagnosed him with an "eleptiform seizure." Doctors who reviewed Carroll's medical history believed he may have had epilepsy, but not necessarily AIWS, which was not named until 1955.

Recently, Dr Yvonne Hart, consultant neurologist at the Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, considered Dodgson's symptoms. Her conclusion, quoted in Jenny Woolf's 2010 biography, is that Dodgson very likely had migraine, and may have had epilepsy...

Carroll lost consciousness at least twice, and he also suffered from seizures--not commonly associated with AIWS. Of course, Carroll could have suffered from both of the diseases. John Todd, the psychiatrist whose name also shares this disease, named it because of the similarities of the symptoms found in Carroll's novel--not because of Carroll's own condition.

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