10 facts about neurocysticercosis
Updated April 2017
Tapeworm infection of the central nervous system is a leading cause of epilepsy worldwide
Neurocysticercosis is a preventable parasitic infection of the central nervous system and is caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. Humans become infected after consuming undercooked food, particularly pork, or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs, or through poor hygiene practices.
Taeniasis is the intestinal infection of the adult tapeworm. When left untreated, a more serious condition known as cysticercosis develops as T. solium larvae invade body tissues. When larvae build up in the central nervous system, muscles, skin and eyes, it leads to neurocysticercosis – the most severe form of the disease and a common cause of seizures worldwide.
This fact file features key information about neurocysticercosis.