Tapeworms in the brain: Fearfully common

By Carl Zimmer | May 15, 2012 5:29 pm

We’ve all heard about tapeworms getting into the intestines. That’s bad enough. But sometimes they can also end up in the brain. In my column in the latest issue of Discover, I write about neurocysticercosis, which is shockingly common in some parts of the world, causing an estimated five million cases of epilepsy. Yet neurocysticercosis experts consider the disease as a fairly easy one to wipe out. We have the tools to do it, but not the will. Check it out.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Brains, Writing Elsewhere

Comments (2)

  1. JasonR

    I was wondering how you define “undercooked pork” in your article? Do you go by the USDA standard of 145F ?

  2. Andy I

    According to Prof Despommier, no parasitic worms can survive freezing, so cooking well isn’t required to kill the cysts.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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