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Tapeworms Living Inside People's Brains

18-05-2012, 09:52 AM
OK --- this is gross so I'll drop the first line down what I think is below this window for those who might barf or at least gag.

Have a nice meal! Remember your keyboard is not barf-proof.

Gross starts here:::

Courtesy of Theodore E. Nash , M.D.

Theodore Nash sees only a few dozen patients a year in his clinic at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. That’s pretty small as medical practices go, but what his patients lack in number they make up for in the intensity of their symptoms.

Some fall into comas.

Some are paralyzed down one side of their body.

Others can’t walk a straight line.

Still others come to Nash partially blind, or with so much fluid in their brain that they need shunts implanted to relieve the pressure.

Some lose the ability to speak; many fall into violent seizures.

Underneath this panoply of symptoms is the same cause, captured in the MRI scans that Nash takes of his patients’ brains.

Each brain contains one or more whitish blobs. You might guess that these are tumors.

But Nash knows the blobs are not made of the patient’s own cells. They are tapeworms. Aliens.

A blob in the brain is not the image most people have when someone mentions tapeworms. These parasitic worms are best known in their adult stage, when they live in people’s intestines and their ribbon-shaped bodies can grow as long as 21 feet.

But that’s just one stage in the animal’s life cycle. Before they become adults, tapeworms spend time as larvae in large cysts. And those cysts can end up in people’s brains, causing a disease known as neurocysticercosis.
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“Nobody knows exactly how many people there are with it in the United States,” says Nash, who is the chief of the Gastrointestinal Parasites Section at NIH. His best estimate is 1,500 to 2,000.

Worldwide, the numbers are vastly higher, though estimates on a global scale are even harder to make because neurocysticercosis is most common in poor places that lack good public-health systems. “Minimally there are 5 million cases of epilepsy from neurocysticercosis,” Nash says.

He puts a heavy emphasis on minimally. Even in developed nations, figuring out just how many people have the illness is difficult because it is easy to mistake the effects of a tapeworm for a variety of brain disorders.

The clearest proof is the ghostly image of a cyst in a brain scan, along with the presence of antibodies against tapeworms.

The closer scientists look at the epidemiology of the disease, the worse it becomes. Nash and other neurocysticercosis experts have been traveling through Latin America with CT scanners and blood tests to survey populations. In one study in Peru, researchers found 37 percent of people showed signs of having been infected at some point. Earlier this spring,

Nash and colleagues published a review of the scientific literature and concluded that somewhere between 11 million and 29 million people have neurocysticercosis in Latin America alone.

Tapeworms are also common in other regions of the world, such as Africa and Asia. “Neurocysticercosis is a very important disease worldwide,” Nash says.


LINK::: http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jun/03-hidden-epidemic-tapeworms-in-the-brain/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=

You are free to leave the room and barf wherever you want to.

See? There is some hard news today.

18-05-2012, 02:32 PM
There's loads of parasites that can live in all parts of you and do all sorts of gross things. A whole bunch of them aren't killable either - or is that more you can't be cured? Similar results anyway, you obviously haven't watched enough Discovery Channel or Animal PLanet.

18-05-2012, 02:43 PM
I'm just a harbinger of bad news, that's all. I DO know about squishy-crawlies in humans - I was a Biomedical Tech for a few years.

You should see some of them inside people that show up during an autopsy!

18-05-2012, 03:18 PM
Just pickle your self with burbon, see how they like that

18-05-2012, 03:57 PM
That's gonna get you in trouble with the TWAS*

* Tape Worm Appreciation Society.

18-05-2012, 05:03 PM
I DO know about squishy-crawlies in humans - I was a Biomedical Tech for a few years.

Ah. Yes, some really good reasons to never leave the house I've seen.

18-05-2012, 06:25 PM
Nice picture of a politicians brain SJ ... ... explains quite a lot to the layman and especially relevant to a NZ MP by the name of John Banks ... :rolleyes: