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What are the causes and treatment for worm egg in the brain?

Q: My daughter is 4 years old. One day she started frothing and vomiting. We took her to the hospital and the doctor did a CT scan, which reported that there was a cyst of worm egg in the left part of the brain. Should I consult a neurologist? What should we do? What medicines will help? Someone told us that every medicine used for its treatment has side effects. I feel scared.

A:The worm egg is the larval stage of the tapeworm that reaches the brain through the intestines and then through blood vessels, usually as a result of eating any contaminated food. This cyst, called neurocysticercus (NCC), usually creates problems when our immune system begins destroying it - in other words when the cyst starts dying or degenerating. It is a very common problem in our country, and majority of children with single NCC recover completely. In about 20% of patients a calcified spot may be left behind in the brain, which may pose a risk of convulsions in later life. Kindly be reassured that in your child's case she will not become mentally handicapped or paralysed. You should consult a paediatric neurologist who will prescribe medicines to prevent convulsions. The doses that are used will not cause any permanent side effects. The treatment may continue for 1-2 years depending upon when the cyst disappears or calcifies.

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