Neurocysticercosis – A Journey from Pre-independence to Modern India
Annals of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India)
ABSTRACTNeurocysticercosis (NCC) is infestation of the human brain by the larva of worm, Taenia solium and is the most prevalent central nervous system (CNS) helminthiasis. The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including the Indian subcontinent, China, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America and contributes substantially to the burden of epilepsy in these areas(1) . CNS involvement is seen in 60-90% of systemic cysticercosis. About 2.5 million people
... 2.5 million people worldwide are infected with T. solium, and antibodies to T. solium are seen in up to 25% of people in endemic areas(1-3) . A higher prevalence of epilepsy and seizures in endemic countries is partly because of a high prevalence of cysticercosis in these regions. Seizures are thought to be caused by NCC in as many as 30% of adult patients and in 51% of children in population based endemic regions (2) . About 12% of admissions to neurological services in endemic regions are attributed to NCC and nearly half a million deaths occurring annually worldwide can be attributed directly or indirectly to NCC (Bern et al.). Punctate calcific foci on CT scan are a very common finding in asymptomatic people residing in endemic areas, found in 14-20 % of CT scans. Both seizures and positive cysticercus serology are associated with the detection of cysticerci on CT scans. Seroprevalence using a recently developed CDC- based enzyme-linked immunotransfer blot (EITB) assay is estimated at 8-12% in Latin America and 4.9-24% in Africa and South-East Asia. It is estimated that 20 million people harbour neurocysticercosis worldwide(1) .