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A migraine variant with abdominal colic and Alice in wonderland syndrome: a case report and review

Sherifa A Hamed

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Assiut University Hospital, Assiut, Egypt

Dept. Integrative Systems Biology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Research Center for Genetic Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington DC 20010, USA

BMC Neurology 2010, 10:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-2

Published: 6 January 2010



Abdominal migraine is a commonly described migraine variant in children and young adults, but associations with Alice in Wonderland syndrome and lilliputian hallucinations are exceptional.

Case presentation

A 20 years-old male experienced frequent and prolonged attacks of abdominal colic associated with autonomic manifestations started at the age of ten. At the age of 17, he additionally described prolonged attacks (≥ 7 days) of distortions of shape, size or position of objects or subjects. He said "Quite suddenly, objects appear small and distant (teliopsia) or large and close (peliopsia). I feel as I am getting shorter and smaller "shrinking" and also the size of persons are not longer than my index finger (a lilliputian proportion). Sometimes I see the blind in the window or the television getting up and down, or my leg or arm is swinging. I may hear the voices of people quite loud and close or faint and far. Occasionally, I experience attacks of migrainous headache associated with eye redness, flashes of lights and a feeling of giddiness. I am always conscious to the intangible changes in myself and my environment". There is a strong family history of common migraine. Clinical examination, brain-MRI and EEG were normal. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and evoked potentials revealed enhanced cortical excitability in multiple brain regions. Treatment with valproate resulted in marked improvement of all clinical and neurophysiological abnormalities.


The association between the two migraine variants (abdominal migraine and Alice in Wonderland Syndrome) might have clinical, pathophysiological and management implications. I think this is the first description in the literature.