Scientists Find Cure for Neurocysticercosis, a Major Cause of Seizures

pork-tapeworm

Neurocysticercosis is caused when people ingest pork that has gone bad and is the root cause of several types of seizures. In a new study that was published in the journal PLoS Pathogens, scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine have discovered that Substance P is the culprit of neurocysticerosis.

Neurocysticercosis is the main reason why people develop acquired epilepsy in developing countries, and it’s on the rise in the US. It causes seizures, headaches, and about 400,000 people in Latin America alone have it.

neurocysticercosis-x-rayThe pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) infects people when undercooked or fecally-contaminated pork gets into stomachs, where gastric acid allows the larvae to migrate throughout the body and become cysts. These oncospheres can migrate into muscles, eyes, and the brain, where they will cause inflammation.

Substance P is a neuropeptide that’s known to be involved with inflammation and it was found in infected patients. Mice that were injected with this peptide suffered severe seizures. A drug that blocks the peptide prevented the seizures. Now the drug needs to be tested on humans. The infection still has to be treated, but the seizures could be mitigated through drugs.

[via PLoS Pathogens, images via Wikipedia and Radpod]

2 Comments on "Scientists Find Cure for Neurocysticercosis, a Major Cause of Seizures"

  1. I’ve Neugrocysticercosis since I was 14. I have gone for several treatments. I thought I’m okay since I’ve completed the course of taking medicine. But, just few days back I fall down again. Please suggest me what should I do to cure this sickness completely. Thank you!

    • You are not alone facing the problem. I too was alright till I took medicine. Even seven years after I left medicine, I was alright. But then I got attack 7 months back and again doctor prescribed another anti-epileptic medicine and I’m alright with it. But I feel like it causes hangovers. You will be alright just take medicines for aome long period. Do not stress yourself, get enough sleep(I had not slept for three straight nights when I got last seizure). Things go fine. Stay active and happy. 🙂

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