The book Truth, Lies & Alzheimer’s – Its Secret Faces draws interesting parallels between Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole and the journey of many Alzheimer’s patients.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Lewis Carroll’s popular tales contain some hidden truths about the human brain that are still inspiring neuroscientists to this day. It is now 150 years since Alice first made that journey down the rabbit hole – and Carroll’s tale of Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, et al., has inspired countless films, paintings, and even a ballet. What is less well known is the way it shaped our understanding of the brain … not just Freudian psychology and analysis, but modern neuroscience.
Truth, Lies & Alzheimer’s draws interesting parallels between Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole and the journey of many Alzheimer’s patients. It is critical to understand their world. You may remember the start of the story Alice sees a white rabbit dressed in a suit, hurry by … and with a pocket watch to boot! She decides to follow him. She enters a new world and no longer knows her way back home.
After drinking a shrinking potion, she walks through a tiny door and meets two jolly fellows, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, who begin to tell her a tale about some Curious Oysters. Alice finally finds the White Rabbit’s house. He was home. She finds a tray of cookies labelled “take one, so she did. Oh, my goodness, the cookie made Alice grow as big as the house as she hit her head on its ceiling.
Alice reached into the white rabbit’s garden and picked a carrot. Eating the carrot made her small
again, so she ran in the direction the white rabbit went, once again, trying to find him.
The biggest difference between Alice in Wonderland and “Alice” suffering from dementia, is that Wonderland Alice woke up from her dream. Dementia Alice can’t wake up from her dream because this IS her real world.