A man hospitalized for a mysterious seizure was diagnosed with a tapeworm that had lived in his brain for decades.

Enlarged image of Pork tapeworm

Eating undercooked pork or being in an unsanitary condition can cause parasite infections with Taenia solium.The ingested eggs hatch into larvae, which move through the bloodstream to the muscles and brain.STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

  • A man suffering from seizures, disorientation, and “speaking Gibberish” had tapeworms in his brain.

  • Doctors in the new case study said he had been carrying parasites without symptoms for years.

  • Parasites are rare for most people and can be prevented with proper hygiene and proper cooking.

According to a case study released on November 11, doctors who treated men hospitalized for seizures, disorientation, and strange behavior said tapeworms lived undetected in his brain for years. Said. New England Journal of Medicine..

According to case reports, the 38-year-old man appeared to be in perfect health until one night his wife woke up and found him on the floor, quivering and “speaking Gibberish.”

He was hospitalized and the doctor treated him for a seizure. He didn’t respond to the question and seemed to stare at the ceiling.

The man had no previous history of illness, no medications or drug use, and no recent symptoms until the attack, his family told the doctor.

The Massachusetts General Hospital medical team eventually diagnosed the patient with cysticercosis, also known as tapeworm infection. This was confirmed by a brain scan and a blood test.

Tapeworm infections can remain undetected for years and can spread to the brain and cause seizures.

Twenty years ago, patients migrated from rural Guatemala, according to a case study. Parasite-related diseases are endemic in Guatemala.

If people with infectious diseases do not wash their hands after using the toilet, parasites from eating poorly cooked and unsanitary meat and fish can be transmitted from person to person. The small parasite eggs in human dung can then spread to other surfaces and food and be ingested by someone else to allow the worm to pass through.

Symptoms of the infection include digestive problems, weight loss, and abdominal pain. However, parasites do not always stay in your digestive system. Creatures can also travel to the brain through the body, muscles, and bloodstream, causing a variety of symptoms.

For example, in a similar case of parasite-related seizures from 2019, a 43-year-old man in China complained of a headache, There are hundreds of tapeworms in his brain. Symptoms, including seizures, began about a month after he ate in a “uncertain” pork pot.

In a 2020 case study, a woman complained of a sore throat, Doctors found a 1-inch long parasitic roundworm in her tonsils, Probably due to the sashimi she ate 5 days ago.

However, the parasite egg may wait in the body without stimulating an immune response, so it may take several years before symptoms appear. Reported by Ars Technica..

Parasites can be dangerous, but infections are rare in the United States

In areas where parasites are more common, including parts of Asia and Central America, 10% to 50% of epilepsy cases are associated with tapeworm infections in the brain. research.. Tapeworms are also found in parts of the United States, especially in Texas, Southern California, and New York City, according to case studies.

Most of us don’t have to worry about walking around with parasites, Dr. Kyle Starler, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (who wasn’t involved in the case study), I told the insider before..

But fear of parasites Virus “purification” A product that claims to exterminate the body to heal everything from brain fog to weight problems.

“The idea that some of us are depriving us of nutrition and health is something people can catch, and fear is a selling point,” Staller said.

The best way to prevent tapeworms is at least meat, especially pork 145 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, According to the CDC. After touching the raw meat, wash your hands, dishes and utensils thoroughly. Be sure to wash your hands after using the toilet.

Read the original article insider