Loyola UniversityPeople living in Mexico may want to take care of their health in a better way after reading this news. A research from Loyola University Health System claims that tapeworm infections of the brain, which could cause epileptic seizures, seem to be augmenting in Mexico and bordering southwestern states.

In Mexico, roughly 10 percent of the population could suffer from the infection, neurocysticercosis. While several individuals do not exhibit symptoms, neurocysticercosis however remains a grave health concern, particularly among the poor.

Neurocysticercosis is believed to be rather common in poor rural communities in developing countries with deprived sanitation and hygiene and where pigs are let to roam around liberally and consume human feces.

Guest editor of this article is Dr. Jaime Belmares, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Neurocysticercosis is said to be due to a tapeworm seen in pigs known as Taenia solium. A person could get contaminated with the parasite by consuming undercooked pork. That individual subsequently may excrete tapeworm eggs. The infection supposedly transmits via food, water or surfaces contaminated with feces. One can become infected, for instance, by drinking infected water or by putting contaminated fingers in the mouth.

Once inside the stomach, the tapeworm egg hatches, roams by means of the bloodstream and ends up in the muscles, brain or eyes. This worm can develop to more than one-half inch long. It becomes enclosed in a fluid-filled cyst. Apparently, cysts in the muscles don’t usually cause any symptoms. But cysts in the eyes can lead to fuzzy vision, while cysts in the brain could get the person to endure headaches, encephalitis and seizures. Seemingly less common symptoms encompass confusion and trouble in balancing.

This article, ‘Management of Neurocysticercosis’ was published in the April issue of Neurological Research.