CYSTICERCOSIS of Brain or Neurocysticercosis is the most common cause of seizures or epilepsy in an adult and the most common parasitic infection of the brain.
CYSTICERCOSIS (SIS-tuh-sir-KO-sis) of Brain or Neurocysticercosis (NEW-row SIS-tuh-sir-KO-sis) is the commonest cause of adult onset seizures
or epilepsy. It is the most common parasitic infection of the brain or central nervous system world wide and the most common cause of adult onset epilepsy.
It is caused by the encysted larval stage of the "Pork Tapeworm" (Tenia solium)
Neurocysticercosis is more comon in developing countries and is endemic in Mexico and Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, India, and East Asia.
It has been widely reported in India, more so from the northern parts, and is one of the leading causes of pediatric epilepsy.
Neurocysticercosis is a far more important public health problem than human tape-worm infestations. It is endemic in certain communities and regions of the world due to poor sanitation, use of sewage for fertilizer, and poor breeding methods of the pigs.
Contrary to popular belief neurocystericosis is not exclusive to pork eaters and the incidence among vegetarians is high, especially salad eaters.
are parasites that reside in the intestinal tract of human beings. They are long, flat worms that have a head armed with suckers and hooks. Tapeworms can sometimes grow as much as 15
feet or 10 meters in length and the largest tapeworms grow up to 59 feet or 18 meters. There are variety of these worms that infect human beings and they include:
Beef Tapeworm or Taenia Saginata
Pork tapeworm or Taenia Solium
World Health Organisation(WHO) estimates that
almost 50 mllion people worldwide are infected by tapeworms and of these
50,000 die due to the disease every year.
pork tapeworm infests the brain
and cause neurocysticercosis. Its
prevalence in some of the developing countries exceeds 10%. In these
regions it accounts for up to 50% of cases of late-onset
Adult onset seizures or epilepsy is twice
as common in the developing regions of these countries as in
industrialized countries such as the United
There is no sexual predilection for the worm
infestation. It is unusual for the disease to manifest in a child due to
the long incubation period of the worm.