It turns out that a man’s seizures are caused by the death of tapeworms in his brain

A close-up look at a scolex or fully mature pork tapeworm head.  Interestingly, cysticercosis is what happens when tapeworms don't get a chance to become adults.

A close-up look at a scolex or fully mature pork tapeworm head. Interestingly, cysticercosis is what happens when tapeworms don’t get a chance to become adults.
picture: Roberto C. Galindo / Wikimedia Commons

Having a seizure can be a frightening experience no matter what happens, bFor one unfortunate manThis experience was exacerbated by the discovery that the dead tapeworm cysts that had lodged in his brain for decades were the root cause.. Thank God seizures were successfully treated, The man appears to have recovered in the ensuing years.

Doctors in Massachusetts describe it The The patients case on paper from last week In the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the report, which included his wife’s testimony, the 38-year-old fell out of bed at 4 am.NS. Then he started shivering and talking gibberish. When the police and EMS arrived, he was “combatant and confused” and initially refused to go to the hospital in an ambulance. On his way to the emergency room, he had a seizure that lasted two minutes and They were given a sedative commonly used for seizures.

The man had no history of underlying health problems, According to his family, he was completely fine the day before. Once doctors were able to run CT and MRI scans of his brain, the likely culprit of his illness was Found: sintered and longwhere-Dead tapeworm larval cysts. Doctors then concluded that he had a relatively rare type of infection from pork tapeworm (Taenia solium taeniasis), commonly known as neurocysticercosis.

Pork tapeworm can be infested widely visible in two Methods. If we eat tapeworms in pork or other undercooked meat that has been slightly cooked in bags, these bags will migrate to our intestines and open up in adult tapeworms –Uncomfortably long, weight loss-Parasite induction. These worms will produce eggs that come out of his mouth and potentially They find their way to other animals such as pigs, so that the cycle can start over.

But if it was another human Or even the same infected person These eggs are then swallowed, and the new generation of worms arrives It is a dead end and can only ripen in the form of a sack of life. Unfortunately, the nightmare does not end there, because these sacks can still wreak havoc wherever it ends. when stuck in brain, can cause stress and trigger inflammation that leads to all kinds of neurological symptoms, Including seizures and even death. But it can take years or Decades after infection until symptoms appear, often after the worm cysts have died (Adult tapeworms can live up to 30 years in the host; The cysts have a shorter life of about five Years). Sometimes, cysts and the problems they cause can be Confused A brain tumor.

Locally acquired tapeworm infection is rare in the United States But it remains very common in developing countries. Doctors’ best guess is that their patient first hosted at least 20 of these worms Years ago in his native Guatemala, before immigrating to the United States

After treatment with anti-seizure medications and steroids, the man’s condition (including swelling around lesions in his brain) improved It is enough that he was discharged from the hospital by the fifth day. Although cysts can sometimes be surgically removed or treat them with antiparasitics if they are still alive, this is often not possible or required, Instead, patients who have had seizures will be given long-term medications to manage or prevent them in the future, as was the case here. Fortunately, follow-up visits Three years later I found out that the man had not had any seizures since then and that he was still healthy.

While neurocysticercosis is relatively rare here, it is one of the main causes of seizures seen in adulthood worldwide. NSIn the United States, about 1,000 people are hospitalized as a result each year. Cysticercosis is generally considered a neglected tropical disease, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there currently “Little effort is being made to monitor, prevent, identify, and treat neuroblastoma.”


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