Headaches caused by tapeworm larvae in brain

A 25-year-old woman in Australia discovered she had tapeworm larvae in her brain after suffering from a headache that lasted for more than a week.

The aches were caused by tapeworm larvae that had taken up space in her brain, according to a new study on her case by the The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene published on September 21.

An MRI of her brain led doctors to believe that a tumor might be the cause of her pain, but after operating and removing the lesion, they discovered it was actually a cyst full of tapeworm larvae. After the removal, she required no further treatment.

This condition is known as neurocysticercosis, which can cause neurological symptoms when larval cysts develop in the brain. People who get the parasitic infection do so by swallowing eggs found in the feces of a person who has an intestinal tapeworm, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).