A Florida Man’s Migraines Turned Out to Be Literal Brainworms

A Florida man’s agonizing migraines turned out to have a terrifying trigger: precise brainworms. In a current case examine, his medical doctors describe how he developed a parasitic infestation of tapeworm eggs in his mind, probably caught from consuming undercooked bacon. Fortunately, the person was efficiently handled.

The unusual medical story was detailed final week within the American Journal of Case Experiences. It was written by medical doctors from the College of South Florida and the Orlando Regional Healthcare System.

In response to the report, the 52-year-old man had a previous historical past of continual migraines. However by the point he visited the medical doctors at an outpatient clinic, he had been experiencing extra extreme and frequent complications for 4 months—complications that not responded to the same old remedies.

Given this new sample of migraines, the medical doctors determined to run a CT scan of his head. And that’s after they found the clear presence of cyst-caused lesions on either side of the mind. Additional exams dominated out different causes and confirmed that the person had contracted a selected type of pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) an infection: neurocysticercosis.

There are two varieties of pork tapeworm an infection. If we ingest larval tapeworm cysts present in pork or different undercooked meat, they’ll migrate to our intestines and develop into full-blown grownup tapeworms. These worms may cause gastrointestinal sickness and weight reduction, although individuals will typically by no means expertise signs. The worms may even produce eggs that get pooped out. And if the eggs finally infect pigs or different host animals, the life cycle begins throughout.

But when one other particular person and even the identical contaminated particular person then ingests these eggs, the brand new technology of worms reaches a lifeless finish and may solely mature into their cyst type of life. The cysts can then cram their approach into completely different elements of the physique, together with the mind, and finally trigger a complete new spherical of bother. Although mind tapeworm infections are uncommon within the U.S., they’re a main reason for seizures in adults worldwide, and cysticercosis basically is taken into account a uncared for tropical illness.

The contaminated man reported no current journey historical past to areas of the world the place persons are at larger threat of tapeworms, nor a historical past of consuming uncooked or road vendor meals. However he did admit to commonly consuming calmly cooked, non-crispy bacon, which seems to be the more than likely perpetrator for his predicament.

In some unspecified time in the future, the medical doctors suspect, the person caught tapeworms from consuming undercooked bacon, then gave himself a second bout of tapeworm cysts from not correctly washing his fingers after going to the toilet. Assuming that state of affairs is appropriate, it’s a really uncommon one, they notice, since tapeworm-infected pork is now uncommon within the U.S. (most circumstances are caught whereas touring).

Whereas seizures are typically essentially the most recognizable symptom of neurocysticercosis, it may possibly set off a variety of subtler neurological issues. So medical doctors ought to at the least take into account the potential of neurocysticercosis as a trigger for acute migraine adjustments of their sufferers, the report authors say, even when basic threat elements like journey aren’t within the image.

As for the unfortunate man, he was handled with steroids and antiparasitic treatment, which seem to have lowered his complications and the mind lesions attributable to the tapeworm cysts.

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