Tapeworms produce larvae that can eat holes in the brain
by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Science.
Photo: Discover Magazine/Theodore E. Nash, M.D.

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.

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

View all posts by Allyson Koerner →
  • http://www.facebook.com/thewoodlord Dave Martin

    My that is odd.. How would the larvae cross the blood/brain barrier? I’m calling BS on this one..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TEQRMOAZCBLHCW3C4PCFRSC2QM brian

      yeah im highly skeptical also. im a trained chef who recently (in the last 5 years) went to school for culinary arts. we were taught (and the national food safety group also just changed their standards) that it is now safe to cook pork to 145 f, or appr. medium, and that it no longer needs to be cooked to death. given this was in response to reduced (almost non existent) trichinosis rates worldwide nowadays. didnt say anything about tapeworms….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YD6V6RU7Z54TQF7L5C5XZX3VQE cymric_brian

    Or…just stop eating meat altogether…suspiciously Vegan statement…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S6PZNMKNLNXXWTZE4XIBEPEYFU joe B

    Stop eating meat !!! sure, eat lettuce and risk rat worm infections, I guess we should all go on a water and air diet. Wait that causes cancer, Where’s my 9mm we’re all doomed anyway.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YJ2G73DW5SWE4E3IXFHHCXFTTI t0mkat

    wow, new def. of networking!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=698518716 Tifanie Harvey

    The Quran got this fact from the word of God which is found in the Bible.

  • Smilitant

    God told the israelites to be separate from the nations in many ways . I’m not Jewish .not that I know of .God told Noah ” And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
    Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” What God told the Jewish tribes don’t apply to all mankind .

  • Smilitant

    I hadn’t heard of it but, i cook my meat well done on any varmint i cook anyway.

  • theresa

    Ok, now if we all stoped eating meat then what. The animals would take over the world….They would ruin our water, eat all our geens, have babies all the time and pigs will eat anything even us!!!

  • hogdvm

    As a swine veterinarian, I can assure you that the pork tapeworm is virtually non existent in the US. It occurs in outdoor swine that have access to human feces contaminated with tapeworm eggs, thus the prevalence in developing nations with free ranging animals and poor toileting facilities for people. If you do partake of meat from free ranging swine, cook it properly and you will be fine.

  • hogdvm

    The prevalence of trichinosis in pork in the US has been reduced to basically zero. Trichinosis is found in swine that range free and have access to wildlife. There are more cases now in humans from eating undercooked game than from eating undercooked pork. If you do choose to eat meat from outdoor pigs, like with all meat, make sure that it is cooked to 145 F and you will be fine.

  • 123

    *Fool proof. Not Full proof.