A tapeworm somehow entered a man’s body and then made its home in his brain. This tapeworm in his brain went undiagnosed for four years. It was a tropical tapeworm and it traveled about two inches over the four years inside the skull going from left to right in the brain. This is shown in the scans above.
The brain scans were taken over four years and they show how the tapeworm made its journey in the man’s brain, as he was back and forth to the hospital during those years with all kinds of symptoms due to the undiagnosed parasite.
Just hearing that someone contracted a tapeworm may make you cringe as no one wants a parasite on board especially in the brain, which is the organ responsible for so many aspects of your life. A man from London lived for four years with a tape worm in his brain and that parasite played havoc with his vision, emotions and had him believing he was going mad, according to The Telegraph U.K. on Nov. 22.
The victim became claustrophobic in cars, suffered headaches, had dizzy spells and was experiencing blackouts of time and memory loss. Doctors first diagnosed his condition as mini-strokes called transient ischemic attacks.
The New York Post reports that the 50-year-old man wasn’t getting any better and after a series of epileptic fits, which came on all of the sudden, the doctors found cancer in a fast-growing brain tumor. He had been admitted to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery where surgery was scheduled as an attempt to remove the tumor.
After getting the cancer diagnosis the man felt doomed and he resolved to do things differently if he was lucky enough to make it through the brain surgery, he wanted to start over again in a different direction.
The three-hour brain surgery revealed the tapeworm and it was successfully removed. The four-inch ribbon-shaped tapeworm traveled two inches in the man’s brain from the right side to the left. MRIs from over a four-year period showed the movement of the parasite while in his brain. At the time it was not known the image was a tapeworm.
This is one case where the diagnosis of a tape worm turned out to be good news. This is not what most people would consider something to rejoice over, but this case was different. After finding out you that are carrying around a now dead tropical tape worm in your brain as opposed to a deadly form of cancer, the tapeworm was definitely the lessor of two evils.
The tropical tapeworm turned out to be somewhat of a mystery because this man has never stepped foot in the tropics. Where and how he contracted that tapeworm will most likely remain a mystery, but today he is reported as “systematically fine,” according to his doctors. Since the surgery doctors have looked back at his scans showing what they now know was a tapeworm, in his brain for four years.
If the tapeworm had been discovered early on a ten-day course of antibiotics would have killed the parasite. This is a commonplace illness in the developing world, the doctors told the victim.