Ericson Dametto


Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the brain infection caused by larval stages of the helminth Taenia solium. The embryos of Taenia travel through the bloodstream and can reach the brain, muscles, eyes, and various organs. In the brain, the psy- chiatric manifestations are mood disorders, depression and anxiety, which are commonly associated with epilepsy and sensory-motor deficits. Neurocysticercosis is a frequent parasitic disease in the world popu- lation; it is endemic in Central and South America, Asia and Sub-Saha- ran Africa. In the present review, we report the major symptoms and signals of neurocysticercosis common to neurological and psychiatric illnesses. We briefly present Epidemiology of those manifestations and analyze the relationship between pathological changes and NCC symptomatology. Objectives and Methodology. A literature review was conducted to characterize epidemiological, neurological and psychiatric manifesta- tions of NCC. The final 90 papers were selected of a set of 937 publi- cations from 2010 to 2016. Results. NCC is a major cause of epilepsy in endemic areas; further- more, leads to a diversity of motor and sensitive deficits, manifesta- tions vary from headache to severe intracranial hypertension. Potentially fatal conditions include arteritis, encephalitis and hydro- cephalus. Depression and cognitive decline remain among the most important psychiatric manifestations. Neuropsychiatric manifestations, Epidemiology, and neuroimaging provide diagnostic criteria. Brain scans may reveal one or diverse cys- ts filled with fluid within a scolex (parasite's head). Conclusion. NCC's diversity of presentations encourage health pro- fessionals to consider it in diagnoses, especially in endemic countries, and also in non-endemic areas because migrants and travelers are subject to contagious. Treatment consists in use of antiparasitic drugs (albendazol, prazi- quantel) and drugs to treat associated conditions (anticonvulsants, corticosteroids). Surgery is reserved to extirpate the parasite from particular locations (eyes, spinal cord, cerebral ventricles) or to diffe- rentiate NCC from tumors, tuberculosis, mycosis, etc. Prevention includes treatment of intestinal helminthiasis, sanitation in animal farming, food preparing hygiene, quality control of water and food.



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