Cysticercosis of the brain is a parasitic disease in which larvae of pork tapeworm are localized in the brain. This pathological condition is very dangerous. In order to understand to what extent, it is necessary to know what harm can only be done by one cysticerci. The larva of the pork chain is anatomically similar to a small bubble, the size of a pea. Inside it is filled with liquid, in it floats the head of the Finn, on the upper side of which there are suckers and a crown of hooks. Finns "like to settle" on the soft shells of the brain, settle in the surface areas, right under the bark, in the cavity of the ventricles. There they can swim freely. The life expectancy of cysticerci is great. Solitaire in this form is able to live from five years to thirty. During this time, even one Finn is capable of causing life-threatening complications. Having died, the parasite calcifies, the larva does not go outside, remains in the brain, a permanent inflammatory process is maintained around the dead Finn. What can it lead to?
During its life, cysticerci secrete a large number of toxins that adversely affect the functioning of the central nervous system. The surrounding tissue is in a constantly inflamed process. It causes the appearance of cerebral edema or hydrocephalus. Both pathologies can lead to physical disability of the infected person.
Cysticercosis of the brain - a long disease, it flows with the change of sharp pronounced periods, during which there is a significant deterioration in the patient's condition, with the stages of remission. They can last from several months to several years, but then the symptoms of cysticercosis of the brain invariably renew. The disease itself never passes.
Symptoms of cerebral cysticercosis
Usually a small number of larvae of pork chopsticks accumulate in the brain. The aggregate has a loose structure, therefore, as a rule, it manifests itself as signs of mechanical irritation. They are expressed in the form of weak disorders. Most often, patients complain of cuts - a reduction in the strength of voluntary movements, incomplete light muscle paralysis, loss of sensitivity of the hands or feet. Another characteristic feature is an easy violation of speech.
In the presence of a large number of larvae in the brain, mechanical irritation manifests itself in the form of epileptic seizures. The patient is given an epileptic status. Become possible and jacksonian seizures. Over time, if the cysticercosis of the brain is not treated, there are more severe manifestations - prolonged depression, the emergence of hallucinatory-delusional phenomena.
If there is cerebral edema, the patient has a severe headache, which is paroxysmal. My head is constantly spinning, my eyes are always sore. When a sharp paroxysmal pain, accompanied by vomiting, when there is a breakdown in breathing and work of cardiac activity, suspicion of the presence of cysticercles in the ventricle of the brain arises. Involvement of the lateral ventricles leads to the appearance of other characteristic manifestations. The patient has a tumor on the frontal part of the head, frequent attacks of loss of consciousness. The clinical picture of meningitis occurs when the base of the brain is affected. In this case, the disease occurs with vomiting, with severe headache, the appearance of bradycardia and lesion of the optic nerves.
As you can see, the symptoms of cysticercosis of the brain largely depend on where exactly the "larva" settles, how much cysticerci is present in the organ described. Ignoring one or two signs of pathology can lead to death. That's why it's so important to seek medical help on time and know how the diagnosis of the disease is carried out.
Studies with cerebral cysticercosis
Different laboratory and surgical methods are used to confirm the diagnosis. If suspected of cysticercosis, the patient will be prescribed:
- A blood test that helps to detect the presence of eosinophils.
- Analysis of cerebral fluid.
- Blood test for the detection of antibodies and antigens.
A thorough collection of anamnesis is mandatory. Cysticercosis of the brain has no pathognomonic symptoms. On the invasion can indicate a variety of signs of damage to the body described. That is why the infectious disease doctor needs to weigh all the manifestations and try to objectively assess the situation. The main task is to differentiate cysticercosis from oncological neoplasms in the head, neurosyphilis and such a dangerous disease as meningoencephalitis or epilepsy. With timely measures against this form of helminthiosis, the predictions can be very favorable.
Features of treatment of cysticercosis of the brain
Cysticercosis can be eliminated by using complex medication. As a rule, patients are prescribed antiparasitic drugs with a wide spectrum of action. Practice shows that during the course of drug therapy, the manifestations described above( headaches, epileptic seizures) may become more frequent or worse. This is due to the fact that to toxins produced by worms in the process of their vital activity, toxins are added, formed during the death of larvae of the pork chain. To reduce such manifestations and alleviate the general condition of a sick person, non-hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticonvulsants and dehydrating medications are prescribed.
Sometimes surgical intervention is used. It becomes expedient when only one Finn was in the brain, when the larvae of the pork chain appear in the easily accessible areas of the cerebral cortex. Timely measures save the patient life.