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article imageTapeworm lives in man's brain for four years (video)

By Tim Sandle     Nov 22, 2014 in Odd News
London - A man who suffered with headaches and seizures for four years finally found out why: a rare tapeworm was living in his brain. The parasite has now been removed by medics.
According to The Independent, over the course of four years the tapeworm had traveled five centimeters, crossing from the right to the left side of the fifty year old man's brain. The tapeworm itself was around one centimeter long.
The tapeworm itself is rare. The man, who was British, was the first person in the U.K. to contract such an infection. Moreover, there have only been around 300 cases of this particular tapeworm reported worldwide.
The issue came to light as the main began to experience a series of memory losses, a loss to his sense of smell, and headaches. It took a while for medics to work out the problem. The parasite was eventually found through the use of an MRI scanner.
The tapeworm can be seen is this video:
The operation to remove the parasite was carried out at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Following the removal, the man is said to be making a recovery. Various anti-parasitic drugs have also been administered.
Commenting on the incident, Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas, of the Department of Infectious Disease at Addenbrooke's NHS Trust, told Sky News: "We did not expect to see an infection of this kind in the U.K., but global travel means that unfamiliar parasites do sometimes appear."
The tapeworm is called Spirometra erinaceieuropaei,. The main effect caused by the parasite is inflammation of body tissues (in the brain, New Scientist notes, this is called cerebral sparganosis). Being lodged in an organ like the brain, this triggers seizures, memory loss and headaches.
The worm can be contracted by eating small infected crustaceans from lakes, eating raw amphibian or reptile meat.
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