Brain Parasites

In some parts of the world, brain infections may be due to worms or other parasites. These infections are more common in developing countries and rural areas. They are less common in the United States.The infection is treated with albendazole or praziquantel (drugs used to treat parasitic worm infections, called antihelminthic drugs). Corticosteroids are given to reduce the inflammation that occurs as the larvae die. Seizures are treated with anticonvulsants.

Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) and coenurosis are infections with other types of tapeworm larvae. Echinococcosis can produce large cysts in the brain. Coenurosis, like cysticercosis, produces cysts that can block the flow of fluid around the brain.

Schistosomiasis is an infection caused by blood flukes. In some people with schistosomiasis, inflamed clumps of cells (granulomas) develop in the brain.

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