“Once you consume them, they can move throughout your body – your eyes, your tissues and most commonly your brain. They leave doctors puzzled in their wake as they migrate and settle to feed on the body they’re invading; a classic parasite, but this one can get into your head” – CNN.
A British man kept having headache after headache, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
When they finally conducted an MRI, doctors discovered something terrifying: Burrowed in his brain tissue was a tapeworm, and it may have been living there for four years.
They diagnosed him with Sparganosis, which is a parasitic infection caused by the tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei.
“It had moved from one side of the brain to the other… very few things move in the brain,” Dr. Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas told CNN.
There is no known drug to effectively treat the infection meaning that upon diagnosis doctors had to be quick to remove the worm surgically.
The infection caused by Spirometra Erinaceieuropaei often originates in cats and dogs, where the worm can grow to a terrifying length of 1.5 metres.
EATING THIS COMMON FOOD CAN GIVE YOU BRAIN WORMS
There are numerous ways you can get worms invading your brain including eating pork. The pork species, known as Taenia Solium, can infect humans in two forms:
Consuming undercooked pork that comes from infected pigs, result in taeniasis, which is an adult worm that resides in the intestines of the pig and can affect the brain in humans.
The second, in the larval form, through contact with the feces of an infected pig or human, which can go on to infect many tissues in the human body.
This type of infection can result in neurocysticercosis if the larvae enter the nervous system. This infection can cause epilepsy if it gets into the brain.
If the larval worm enters the nervous system, including the brain, it can result in a condition known as neurocysticercosis.
Infection of this kind can often cause epilepsy once inside the brain. Almost a third of epilepsy cases in countries where the disease is native are people who have previously had neurocysticercosis, according to the World Health Organization.