Neurocysticercosis and epilepsy.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Epilepsy (Care and treatment)
Epilepsy (Diagnosis)
CT imaging (Usage)
Cysticercosis (Drug therapy)
Cysticercosis (Diagnosis)
Pub Date: 08/01/2009
Publication: Name: South African Medical Journal Publisher: South African Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 South African Medical Association ISSN: 0256-9574
Issue: Date: August, 2009 Source Volume: 99 Source Issue: 8
Geographic: Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa
Accession Number: 262583609
Full Text: Cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by Taenia solium. Both people and pigs can become infected with the larvae or cysts of the parasite by faecal-oral contamination. Cysts are often located in the central nervous system (CNS), causing neurocysticercosis (NCC). Gilberto Ocana and colleagues (3) investigated the prevalence of NCC in patients treated for epilepsy in Lusiskisiki, Eastern Cape.

NCC may present with a variety of clinical manifestations. The parenchymal form is most common and accounts for 29-62% of cases of NCC, causing headache, seizures, focal neurological deficit or intellectual impairment. Seventy-five per cent of patients with NCC have calcified cyst in the muscles. Treatment of NCC includes antiparasitic drugs, praziquantel and albendazole.

In their study group, 61% of patients with epilepsy (2 or more seizures) were found to have NCC. This high prevalence rate may be due to unsanitary environmental conditions. The authors recommend that all patients with seizures of recent onset should have a CT or MRI brain scan--also if a patient has a positive serological result to exclude NCC.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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