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Video: Brain Parasites - Parasites That Infect The Brain
Last updated 3 July 2017 at 17:36
Reading time: 4 minutes
It is a mistake to believe that brain parasites in the human body can only parasitize in the gastrointestinal tract and liver. There are such types of helminths that are able to live and reproduce in the brain.
- 1 Ways of getting helminths into the brain
- 2 Symptoms of helminth infection
3 Types of parasitic worms that affect the brain
- 3.1 Pork tapeworm
- 3.2 Head lesion with cyclophyllides
- 3.3 Trypanosome
- 3.4 Similar articles
Ways of getting helminths into the brain
The general symptoms of the parasitic effect of worms on the human brain are similar.
Depending on which area was infected, the following symptoms appear:
- headaches followed by gag reflexes;
- unstable body temperature;
- general malaise of a person (fatigue, weakness, nervousness, depression)
- epileptic seizures;
- with an advanced form of parasitism, paralysis is possible.
It is difficult enough to recognize whether there are parasites in the human brain, since the symptoms of their manifestation are similar to those of other more common diseases. In addition, many human parasites can develop asymptomatically for a long time. Therefore, some people live with parasites for up to 30 years and do not even know about it.
Almost all worms, being in the brain, secrete toxic substances that provoke cerebral edema and epileptic seizures. To identify them in a person's head, an X-ray examination and magnetic resonance imaging are performed.
Types of parasitic worms that affect the brain
One of the most common worms parasitizing in the human brain is the pork tapeworm. Infection occurs through the entry of worm eggs into the human stomach. Under the action of stomach acid, the shell of the tapeworm eggs dissolves and the larvae penetrate into the blood vessels of the stomach. Through the vessels, the larvae spread throughout the body, including the brain. The area of the lesion is the meninges, basal cisterns and ventricles, and the cortex.
At the initial stage of infection with parasites, a person feels an intolerable headache, irritability, and dizziness. With the further development of neurocysticercosis (a disease in which the brain is injured by a pork tapeworm), there is a likelihood of epileptic seizures. With damage to the cerebral ventricles, there is a high probability of manifestation of Bruns syndrome, overlapping of the ventricular lumen.
Dead worms of the pork tapeworm can also create a negative effect on the brain. When decomposed, they provoke edema and, as a result, dysfunction of the optic nerve. With edema, gag reflexes are possible.
Head lesion with cyclophyllides
Trypanosomes look like flat silvery ribbons of incredibly small size, so they can only be seen under a microscope. The main sources of infection are tsetse flies. After entering the body, the larvae enter the human circulatory system and are transported to the human organs.
The immune system practically does not react to the trypanosome, so it can multiply freely in the internal organs.
You can get trypanosemata in exotic countries where the tsetse fly lives. If not treated promptly, a person infected with trypanosem may die. Therefore, you should not assume that the disease will go away on its own, it is better to consult a doctor.
Another rather mysterious and rare brain parasite is the amoeba Naegleria fowleri. In the world for the entire time of research of brain parasites, only 175 cases of infection are known. And only 6 of them were not fatal.
The source of infection for Naegleria fowleri is dirty, warm fresh water bodies. Amoebas, getting into a person's nose, attach to the inner part or to the mucous membrane and continue their movement towards the brain. With the help of an enzyme that is able to dissolve human tissue, the parasite quickly destroys it. That is why infection with the amoeba Naegleria fowleri is almost always fatal.