Rare brain disease has Alanna Wong alternating between being 22 and being a toddler

For some of us living with how old we actually are is hard enough but what would you do is you lost six years of your young adult life because it was spent being a toddler?

This is the question that Alanna Wong has to deal with on a daily basis as one minute can see her being her youthful loving self and the next minute she has forgotten everything and reverts to being what is essentially a toddler.

When this started happening at the age of ten her parents were, understandably scared and concerned for the daughter. In the end it took doctors eight years to diagnose Alanna with the super-rare condition called Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS).

The neurological condition causes “episodes” where her 22-year-old self falls a sleep for anywhere up to 22 hours a day during which she loses all ability to control her behavior while wandering around like a zombie and becoming very baby-like.

[Her mother] said: “It was so scary when she first got KLS — I thought she’d lost skills like reading and basic maths forever.”

Even when Alanna is awake during regular episodes, she remembers nothing of them. It gives her the feeling she has “time-travelled”.

Alanna said: “It’s like those days never even happened.

“When I eventually come out of the episode, which happens as suddenly as it comes on, I have no idea of what I have been doing.”

The attacks come without warning and can last days, weeks, or even MONTHS.

Her longest episode lasted eight months — bringing her life to a complete halt.

via The Sun

Because KLS is so rare and typically strikes young men in their twenties it took doctors a long time to diagnose Alanna and not knowing what was causing her life to be turned upside down which in turn made her life at school a horrendous experience. If it wasn’t the teachers thinking she was taking drugs it was her fellow students bullying her, or it was misdiagnosis from doctors that saw her being prescribed medication that actually made her condition worse.

Doctors still have no idea what causes KLS but it seems that many of the suffers, of which there is approximately 1,000 worldwide, grow out of it by their 30’s but some have it for life.

Here’s hoping that Alanna is one of the lucky ones.

image courtesy of The Sun