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Pathophysiology: Cysticercosis (cyst in various tissues) is a systemic infection caused by Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) at larval or metacestode stage, when humans ingest incompletely cooked beef or pork that is infected. The raw or undercooked meat contains cysticerci of tapeworm that develops in to a tapeworm invading muscles, tissues, brain, eyes, spine etc.
Treatment: Cysticercosis is treated with anti-parasitic (albendazole, niclosamide) drugs in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs; sometimes surgery may be required. Neurocysticercosis is treated with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation & anticonvulsants are used to prevent seizuers. More prolonged treatment courses (e.g. 30 days of albendazole, which may be repeated) may be needed for extraparenchymal or extensive disease.
Statistics: The World Health Organization (WHO) lists neurocysticercosis as a neglected tropical disease. It estimates that about 50 million people worldwide have neurocysticercosis in the world and that it causes about 50,000 deaths each year.