Recently, an alarming story, published on the CNN website, about a British man who was diagnosed with tapeworm infection went viral on the internet.
The man was suffering from a chronic headache. He was given various medical treatments for his condition, but none of them gave effective results.
This Common Food Can Infect your Brain
A year later, he underwent an MRI, and he was found to have a tapeworm, called Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, living in his brain tissue. The doctors confirmed that the tapeworm was probably living in his brain for four years.
The man was diagnosed with a parasitic infection, known as Sparganosis, which is caused by this tapeworm. Dr. Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas reported for CNN that the tapeworm moved from one side of the man’s brain to the other, which is odd because not many things can move in the brain.
The doctors had to remove the worm surgically because this infection cannot be successfully treated with therapy. This infection mainly affects cats and dogs, where the tapeworm can grow up to 1.5 meters.
Tapeworms Can Invade Your Brain by Eating Pork
The most common way in which the humans can get infected with worms is from consuming pork. The tapeworm species that are found in the pork are called Taenia Solium.
These species can infect the humans in two forms, an adult worm and a larva. An adult worm can affect the human brain from consuming improperly cooked pork of infected pig.
Worm in larval form, on the other hand, can infect you from a direct contact with contaminated animal or human, which can affect many tissues in your body.
If the nervous system is infected by larvae, the infection can cause a serious brain condition, called neurocysticercosis.
If the brain is invaded by a tapeworm, this infection can lead to epilepsy. The World Health Organization states that nearly a third of the epilepsy cases are patients who were previously diagnosed with neurocysticercosis.