Boston Man Diagnosed With Tapeworms – in His Brain

Boston Man Diagnosed With Tapeworms - in His Brain

( – A seemingly healthy Boston man fell out of bed and started seizing early one morning, initially stumping doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital when he arrived for care. He had no history of seizures or disorders, so medical professionals ran a series of tests until they found the culprit hiding in the man’s brain. Scans revealed lesions in his head were from a tapeworm previously living in his skull for an undetermined amount of time.

Shockingly, taenia solium larvae can remain hidden inside the body for up to five years without detection.

In his case, the parasites were “dead and calcified.” According to the director of infectious diseases at Mass General, Dr. Edward Ryan, the infection was gone, but the scarring left behind caused the seizures.

Once professionals discovered the problem, they admitted him to the intensive care unit for stabilization. Doctors treated him with epilepsy drugs, followed by tapeworm medicine and a month’s worth of high-dose parasite solution.

The highest rates of tapeworm infections and cysticercosis, larval cysts, occur in places worldwide with poor sanitation like some areas of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Experts suspect the parasite may have entered the man’s system before he emigrated from rural Guatemala around 20 years ago.

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