Medical report: 18-year-old dead after tapeworm infestation and infection in the brain

An adult Taenia Saginata tapeworm. (Photo Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- An 18-year-old man is dead after a tapeworm infestation and infection in his brain, according to a report published by a medical journal.

The report, which was published by the New England Journal of Medicine on March 28, was presented by two doctors from a hospital located south of New Delhi. The patient, who was not identified, went to the emergency department with tonic-clonic seizure, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is also known as a grand mal seizure.

Eventually, the report states that an MRI scan on the patient's head was done, which shows "numerous well-defined cystic lesions" throughout the patient's cerebral cortex, brain stem, and cerebellum, in what doctors call neurocysticercosis.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, which is run by the National Institutes of Health, a Neurocysticercosis is a parasitic infection that results from ingesting eggs from adult tapeworm that involves the central nervous system. It is considered to be a leading cause of seizures and epilepsy in the developing world, and is also becoming more of an important health issue in the United States.

The patient, according to the report, was not given antiparasitic medications because of a high number of cysts in the brain and swelling in the eye, which can worsen the inflammation and cause loss of vision. The patient was given antiepileptic medications and Dexamethasone.

According to Mayo Clinic, Dexamrethasone, also known by the brand names Decadron, Dekpak or DexPak in the U.S., is used to treat a number of different conditions, including inflammation.

Despite the treatment, the report states that the patient died two weeks later.

CDC information on Cysticercosis