Neurocysticercosis caused by Taenia solium

What is Neurocysticercosis caused by Taenia Solium?

Neurocysticercosis is an infection caused by the larvae of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. It is the most common parasitic infection of the central nervous system worldwide. It is estimated that more than 1 million new cases of neurocysticercosis occur annually.

Neurocysticercosis is most commonly acquired through the ingestion of eggs present in contaminated food or water. The eggs hatch into larvae in the intestines and enter the bloodstream, where they can travel to the central nervous system and cause infection. As the larvae mature, they form cysts within the neural tissue which can cause inflammation and tissue damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Neurocysticercosis Caused by Taenia Solium

The signs and symptoms of neurocysticercosis vary depending on the location of the infection. Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blindness
  • Changes in behavior and cognition
  • Visual disturbances
  • Stiffness in muscles

Diagnosis of Neurocysticercosis Caused by Taenia Solium

The diagnosis of neurocysticercosis is typically based on clinical history, physical exam, and imaging studies. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans are used to identify the location and size of the cysts. In some cases, a spinal tap may also be done to analyze the cerebrospinal fluid.

Treatment of Neurocysticercosis Caused by Taenia Solium

The treatment of neurocysticercosis is typically based on the severity of the infection. Oral and topical medications can be used to reduce the inflammation caused by the cysts. More severe cases may require surgery or antiparasitic medications to kill the larvae. In some cases, antiepileptic medications may also be prescribed to control seizures.

Prevention of Neurocysticercosis Caused by Taenia Solium

The most effective way to prevent neurocysticercosis is to avoid exposure to the eggs of the Taenia solium parasite. This can be achieved by practicing proper hygiene and sanitation, making sure foods are properly cooked, and avoiding water sources that may be contaminated with the parasite.

It is also important to avoid contact with animals that may be carrying the parasite. Finally, if you are traveling to an area where the parasite may be present, you should talk to your doctor about preventative medications.