Cysticercosis

I see this as a disease that can be treated and prevented. But there are precious few resources available for treatment and little recognition of the problem - Theodore Nash MD

Cysticercosis

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Hidden Epidemic: Tapeworms Living Inside People's Brains

A blob in the brain is not the image most people have when someone mentions tapeworms. These parasitic worms are best known in their adult stage, when they live in people’s intestines and their ribbon-shaped bodies can grow as long as 21 feet. But that’s just one stage in the animal’s life cycle. Before they become adults, tapeworms spend time as larvae in large cysts. And those cysts can end up in people’s brains, causing a disease known as neurocysticercosis.

“Nobody knows exactly how many people there are with it in the United States,” says Nash, who is the chief of the Gastrointestinal Parasites Section at NIH. His best estimate is 1,500 to 2,000. Worldwide, the numbers…

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Last Updated : Tuesday, August 24, 2021