Neurocysticercosis, infection with pork tapeworm larvae brain parasites, is an increasingly serious public health problem in the United States, potentially causing headaches, dizziness, seizures, other neurological disorders and sudden death.
. The most common cause of adult-onset epilepsy in the world is called neurocysticercosis, which literally means, pork tapeworms curled up inside your brain.
A review last year out of the Mayo clinic describes the problem. Cysticerci, meaning the larvae, create cavities in the human brain and other body tissue where their tiny bodies grow sometimes into tapeworms 2 to 7 meters in length and can live up to 25 years in the human body. 7 meters means 23 feet long.
On MRI, so-called wormholes appear.
On CT scan, there can be so many in the brain at one time, it can appear similar to a starry sky.
Each star is a fluid filled cyst with the beginning of a living, growing tapeworm inside.
This is what they look like on autopsy.
This is what their face looks like. They have these rings of hooks to grab onto your brain tissue.
Earlier this year a review was published by the CDC on the “public health implications of cysticercosis acquired in the United States. “Pork tapeworms on the brain has emerged as a cause of severe neurologic disease in the United States "
Even after pork tapeworm larvae infect your brain, some people remain asymptomativ their entire lives, while others can go for years without symptoms and then “suddenly become very ill with seizures, headaches and other focal neurological deficits as the larvae multiply within the nervous system and other rissues and can cause sudden death just due to the pressure buildup in the brain.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.
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This continues the brain theme from Thursday's Avoiding Cholesterol is a No Brainer. Tomorrow's NutritionFacts.org video will highlight how even those who abstain from pork may be at risk (i.e. if Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn can get pork tapeworms, anyone can get pork tapeworms).
For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: NutritionFacts.org: the first month and Contagion: bad timing for CDC report of new swine flu strain.