In the previous broadcast, we mentioned how epilepsy is often misdiagnosed. And a new study throws light on one unlikely reason – the tapeworm.
It’s been cited as the cause of up to 10 per cent of all seizures. The tapeworm in question, Taenia solium, comes from pork, and is the world’s most common parasite disease of the central nervous system. It is also the leading cause of late-onset epilepsy in most developing countries. The infection, known as cysticercosis, can be treated with antiparasitic drugs, but it remains a controversial therapy as the ‘cure’ can result in chronic seizures.
Yes, it’s better than prescribing powerful antiepileptics, but there must be a better solution. Anyone have any suggestions?
(Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2004; 350: 215-7).