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Tapeworm-Linked Seizures May Be Rising in U.S., Doctors Say

Posted 8 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 8 – Tapeworm infection in the brain that can trigger seizures is a growing health concern, doctors say. But the infection, which leads to swelling in the brain, is usually treatable with medication, according to a leading association of neurologists. Estimated cases of neurocysticercosis, as the tapeworm infection is called, range from 40,000 to 160,000 each year in the United States, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "It's been around a long time, affecting people living in severe poverty, but the disease is not well-studied or understood," Hotez said. Texas is one area of the country with many cases. "The disease has now become a leading cause of epilepsy in Houston," Hotez said. "Every [week], we have patients come into our tropical medicine clinic with it." Concerns about an apparent ... Read more

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