Cysticercosis is a tissue related disorder that is caused by the young form of the pork tapeworm. People affected with this disease have little or no symptoms for many years. This disease is acquired by consuming water or food that has tapeworm eggs in it. It affects various parts showing different symptoms in each organ:
• Muscles: mytosis with fever, eosinophilia, muscular swelling, atrophy and fibrosis
• Nervous system: cysts in the brain, seizures, headaches, intracranial pressure, back pain
• Eyes: retinal edema, vision problems, haemorrhage and loss of vision
• Skin: firm, mobile nodules which are sometimes painful
HOW IS CYSTICERCOSIS DIAGNOSED?
The diagnostic tests recommended for Cysticercosis may include:
• Blood tests to detect antibodies to the parasite
• Biopsy of the affected area
• CT scan, MRI scan, or x-rays to detect the lesion
• Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)
• Test in which an ophthalmologist looks inside the fundus of the eye
HOW IS CYSTICERCOSIS TREATED?
Treatment depends on individual’s symptoms. Common treatment methods are administering anthelmintic agents, corticosteroids, anticonvulsant medication, and surgery.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are various complications due to this disorder which may include:
• Blindness, decreased vision
• Heart failure or abnormal heart rhythm
• Hydrocephalus (fluid build-up in part of the brain, often with increased pressure)