Woman undergoes brain tumor surgery, doctors find tapeworm instead


EXCERPT: Just the mere mention of the word “tapeworm” is bound to set your skin crawling and your stomach poised to vomit in disgust. Imagine a parasite that can grow to the astonishing length of 25 meters living in a person’s intestines and the unfortunate victim doesn’t even know it’s there. Left undetected, this menace can survive for as long as 30 years in a human host, according to Mayo Clinic. Many people with intestinal tapeworm infection don't exhibit symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and weakness, weight loss and a craving for salt.

Now imagine a tapeworm infesting your brain. This condition, which is super rare in the U.S., is called neurocysticercosis. It’s caused by an infection with Taenia solium, a tapeworm found in pigs. Unknown to most of us, neurocysticercosis is a common cause of seizures worldwide. It’s been called "arguably the most common parasitic disease of the human nervous system” and a "hidden epidemic.”

This was the sad fate of Rachel Palma [...] She consulted with doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital complaining of weird and perplexing symptoms such as hallucinations, insomnia and “horrific nightmares” that began without warning in early 2018. ... Palma's brain surgery took place last fall. ... they expected to find a typical brain tumor. Instead, what they discovered ... looked like a quail egg ... “Sure enough, a baby tapeworm came out of that lesion,” said Rasouli. (MORE)

RELATED: We Need Parasitic Worms

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