Yes, we’ve all heard the frightening tales of tapeworms entering the brain, because of eating undercooked pork, so let’s add to that nightmare with this disturbing piece of information. According to Huffington Post, don’t worry about the tapeworms, but keep an eye out for their larvae, as they could be eating holes in your brain as we speak.
Neurocysticercosis (NCC), a fancy term for brain tapeworms, is the most common parasitic disease of the nervous system, Medscape reveals. Let’s break this down for you.
Brain tapeworms produce larvae that can latch themselves onto the cranium in the form of large white cysts. Now, larvae are used to traveling through a pig’s bloodstream and attaching to its muscles. So, in turn, if you eat undercooked pork you’re eating larvae. Sounds delicious right?
When the larvae enters a human it still thinks it’s inside a pig and as a result, “It flows through the bloodstream and gets stuck inside fluid-filled cavities in the brain, then latches on and masks itself from the immune system. These larvae can form vast networks on the brain and completely mangle its function if not treated,” Huffington Post explains.
Someone who comes in contact with such larvae can enter into a coma, lose motor functions, have violent seizures and even go blind.
According to Dr. Theodore Nash of Maryland, who spoke with Discover Magazine, more than 2,000 people in the United States have tapeworms, while 29 million (or more) may have them in Latin America.
Luckily, there is a cure called praziquantel. However, there are side effects such as brain swelling, along with problematic seizures. A full proof treatment is still in the works.
Are you ready for another “comforting” fact? Tapeworms can lay up to 50,000 eggs each in your intestine. To avoid such a nightmare, all you have to do is cook meat all the way through and wash your hands methodically. Here’s another tip. Just stop eating meat all together and you’ll have no worries of tapeworms and larvae.
To learn more, read the full article by Discover Magazine who recently wrote an expose.