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Global Health
May 15, 2013

Tapeworm Infection of the Brain

JAMA. 2013;309(19):1985. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5880

An evidence-based guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology to address controversy over the optimal therapy for parenchymal neurocysticercosis, a tapeworm infection of the central nervous system that causes seizures, advises treating patients with a combination of the anthelmintic albendazole plus a corticosteroid (Baird RA et al. Neurology. 2013;80[15]:1424-1429).

About 2 million people worldwide have epilepsy caused by infection with the tapeworm Taenia solium, according to the World Health Organization, which considers neurocysticercosis the most preventable form of epilepsy in the world. The infection is prevalent in developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America and is on the rise in developed countries.

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