Cysticercus is the larval form of a tapeworm of the genus Taenia, consisting of a single scolex (head of a tapeworm) enclosed in a bladder like cyst.
A 20-year-old female college student in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, was resting at home during winter vacation in Janury of 2014. She suffered an epileptic episode, with foaming in her mouth, convulsions and seizures that lasted 20 minutes. After the episode, she remembered nothing of what had transpired. A CT scan revealed nothing.
In June, 2014, in her college dorm, she had another episode of convulsions and foaming. An MRI rvealed a nidus on the right side of her brain. Experts suspected it to be a brain tumor.
In July, 2014, reexamination caused the experts to suspect that it might be a parasite inside the brain. Cranial surgery was prepared. On the day before hospitalization, a third epileptic episode occurred. This time, it lasted for 3 minutes.
On August 14, 2014, the cranial operation was performed, and the surgeon removed a thread-like object from the brain. The surgeon placed it on the surgical table, and wihin two seconds, the white thread-like object began to wiggle. It was a 3 cm long cysticercus.
The doctor says that since there seems to be some brain damage, further episodes of epileptic seizures may possibly occur again.
Cysticercus comes from eating raw meats, meats that are not cooked enough, raw vegetables that have not been thoroughly washed, and unwashed hands. The ingested tapeworm larva may have penetrated the intestinal wall and lodged itself in the fold in the brain.