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Del Brutto O.H.,Espiritu Santo University, Guayaquil
Handbook of clinical neurology | Year: 2014

Known as a disease of swine in ancient civilizations, cysticercosis is currently considered the most common helminthic infection of the nervous system, and a leading cause of acquired epilepsy worldwide. The disease occurs when humans become intermediate hosts of the tapeworm Taenia solium by ingesting its eggs from contaminated food or, most often, directly from a Taenia carrier by the fecal-oral route. Once in the human intestine, Taenia eggs evolve to oncospheres that, in turn, cross the intestinal wall and lodge in human tissues - especially the nervous system - where cysticerci develop. The brain is a hostile environment in which parasites attempt to escape the immune surveillance while the host is trying to drive out the infection. In some cases, cysticerci are destroyed by this immunological attack, while in others, parasites may live unchanged for years. Cysticerci may be located in brain parenchyma, subarachnoid space, ventricular system, or spinal cord, causing a myriad of pathologic changes that are the main changes responsible for the clinical pleomorphism of neurocysticercosis. Seizures are the most common clinical manifestation of the disease, but some patients present with focal deficits, intracranial hypertension, or cognitive decline. With the exception of cystic lesions showing the scolex as an eccentric nodule, neuroimaging findings of neurocysticercosis are nonspecific and may be seen in other diseases of the nervous system. Likewise, immune diagnostic tests have been faced with problems related to poor sensitivity or specificity. Accurate diagnosis is possible after interpretation of clinical data together with findings of neuroimaging studies and results of immunologic tests, in a proper epidemiologic scenario. The introduction of cysticidal drugs has changed the prognosis of neurocysticercosis. Praziquantel and albendazole have been shown to reduce the burden of infection in the brain (as seen on neuroimaging studies) and to improve the clinical course of the disease in most patients. Further efforts should be directed towards eradicating this disease through the implementation of control programs for all the interrelated steps in the life cycle of T. solium, including human carriers of the adult tapeworm, infected pigs, and eggs in the environment. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Del Brutto O.H.,Espiritu Santo University, Guayaquil
Handbook of Clinical Neurology | Year: 2014

Known as a disease of swine in ancient civilizations, cysticercosis is currently considered the most common helminthic infection of the nervous system, and a leading cause of acquired epilepsy worldwide. The disease occurs when humans become intermediate hosts of the tapeworm Taenia solium by ingesting its eggs from contaminated food or, most often, directly from a Taenia carrier by the fecal-oral route. Once in the human intestine, Taenia eggs evolve to oncospheres that, in turn, cross the intestinal wall and lodge in human tissues - especially the nervous system - where cysticerci develop. The brain is a hostile environment in which parasites attempt to escape the immune surveillance while the host is trying to drive out the infection. In some cases, cysticerci are destroyed by this immunological attack, while in others, parasites may live unchanged for years. Cysticerci may be located in brain parenchyma, subarachnoid space, ventricular system, or spinal cord, causing a myriad of pathologic changes that are the main changes responsible for the clinical pleomorphism of neurocysticercosis. Seizures are the most common clinical manifestation of the disease, but some patients present with focal deficits, intracranial hypertension, or cognitive decline. With the exception of cystic lesions showing the scolex as an eccentric nodule, neuroimaging findings of neurocysticercosis are nonspecific and may be seen in other diseases of the nervous system. Likewise, immune diagnostic tests have been faced with problems related to poor sensitivity or specificity. Accurate diagnosis is possible after interpretation of clinical data together with findings of neuroimaging studies and results of immunologic tests, in a proper epidemiologic scenario. The introduction of cysticidal drugs has changed the prognosis of neurocysticercosis. Praziquantel and albendazole have been shown to reduce the burden of infection in the brain (as seen on neuroimaging studies) and to improve the clinical course of the disease in most patients. Further efforts should be directed towards eradicating this disease through the implementation of control programs for all the interrelated steps in the life cycle of T. solium, including human carriers of the adult tapeworm, infected pigs, and eggs in the environment. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source


Del Brutto O.H.,Espiritu Santo University, Guayaquil
Pediatric Neurology | Year: 2013

Neurocysticercosis in infants and toddlers has received little attention in the literature, and little is known about the mechanisms of disease acquisition and clinical forms of presentation of the disease in this age group. All patients aged ≤3 years with neurocysticercosis evaluated at Hospital-Clínica Kennedy, Guayaquil, over a 22-year period were included in this study. Their household contacts were screened to detect Taenia solium carriers, which may represent the source of infection. A literature search on neurocysticercosis in infants and toddlers was also performed to compare personal cases with those described elsewhere. A total of 25 infants and toddlers with neurocysticercosis were included (seven from our institution and 18 from the literature). All patients had seizures as the primary manifestation of the disease, and neuroimaging studies showed one or two parenchymal brain cysticerci in the colloidal stage in 88% of patients. The source of infection was investigated in 11 houses, including the seven households of the present series, and only four of the 18 reported in the literature. A Taenia carrier was found in five (45%) of these households, including three from the present series and two from the literature. A sizable proportion of infants and toddlers with neurocysticercosis have been infected at home. Compulsory search of Taenia carriers among household contacts will allow the detection of the potential source of infection and will reduce further spread of the disease. The search must not be limited to family members, but also extended to domestic employees who are in daily contact with the children. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Del Brutto O.H.,Hospital Clinica Kennedy | Del Brutto O.H.,Espiritu Santo University, Guayaquil
Current Opinion in Neurology | Year: 2013

Purpose of Review: This review comments on the recent advances in the understanding of the controversial aspects of neurocysticercosis (NCC). Recent Findings: The number of autochthonous cases of NCC in nonendemic countries has increased during the last few years: it is likely that the migration of Taenia carriers from endemic areas is responsible for the increased prevalence of locally acquired NCC in these regions. NCC is mostly acquired from person to person, and the old theories crediting the environment as the main source of human infection with Taenia solium eggs must be abandoned. There is growing evidence suggesting that cysticercus granulomas (one of the most common forms of presentation of NCC) represent fresh infections and not old infections resulting from spontaneous destruction of viable cysticerci. Calcifications, often seen as inactive lesions producing no symptoms, are responsible for a sizable proportion of NCC-related seizures or headache. It is likely that exposure of parasitic antigens to the hostÊs immune system is the cause of these manifestations. Summary: During the last few years, there has been an increased knowledge on the controversial aspects of NCC, including epidemiology, mechanisms of disease acquisition, the natural involution of lesions in the brain parenchyma, and the role of calcifications as responsible for symptom occurrence. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source


Garcia H.H.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencias Neurologicas | Garcia H.H.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | Nash T.E.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Del Brutto O.H.,Espiritu Santo University, Guayaquil
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2014

The infection of the nervous system by the cystic larvae of Taenia solium (neurocysticercosis) is a frequent cause of seizure disorders. Neurocysticercosis is endemic or presumed to be endemic in many low-income countries. The lifecycle of the worm and the clinical manifestations of neurocysticercosis are well established, and CT and MRI have substantially improved knowledge of the disease course. Improvements in immunodiagnosis have further advanced comprehension of the pathophysiology of this disease. This knowledge has led to individualised treatment approaches that account for the involvement of parenchymal or extraparenchymal spaces, the number and form of parasites, and the extent of degeneration and associated inflammation. Clinical investigations are focused on development of effective treatments and reduction of side-effects induced by treatment, such as seizures, hydrocephalus, infarcts, and neuroinjury. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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