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Hallucinations and illusions in migraine in children and the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome
  1. R A Smith1,
  2. B Wright2,
  3. Sophie Bennett2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, York Hospital, York, UK
  2. 2Adolescent Health and Child Psychiatry, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr R A Smith, Department of Paediatrics, York Hospital, Wigginton Rd, York YO31 8HE, UK; robertasmith246{at}


Design A prospective observational study over 1 year.

Setting A District General Hospital, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Department.

Patients Children aged 8–18 years living in the catchment area of a district hospital service with any type of unexplained hallucinations or illusions associated with or without an established diagnosis of migraine.

Results The study identified nine children with a combination of migraine and a variety of hallucinations and illusions, including illusions of size, time, colour, body shape, movement and visual and auditory hallucination. An average of 10 symptoms (range 7–15) were reported.

Interventions None.

Main outcome measure None.

Conclusions It is important to recognise these symptoms to enable appropriate history taking and diagnosis. These symptoms are common and currently seem to go unrecognised and may pose diagnostic difficulties if onset is before typical migraine headaches occur.

  • migraine
  • hallucinations

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