What is the permanent treatment for Neurocysticercosis?
Q: My 7 years old niece had experienced a fit 3 months back in which she had blacked out. On CT Scan and further diagnosis, she was found to have been suffering from Neurocysticercosis. Recently, she again experienced this fit after 3 months on being on medication. This is the current medication she is on: Prednisolone - 2 tablets x 4 times a day (20 mg), Diamox - 3 tablets daily and Tegrital - 2 tablets (200gms). Is there a way to curb the growth of these worms (with minimum risk and least side effects) or a way to permanently eradicate these worms (and their eggs)? What are the different options that we have worldwide (she can be flown to the US etc if we don't have the medication technique yet in India). Any advice and/or medication tips would be greatly appreciated. I am very hopeful of this forum.
A:Let me clarify the rationale for the three drugs prescribed by your doctor: 1. Prednisolone: it reduces the chance of allergic swelling of the brain in case the parasitic cyst ruptures and releases harmful fluids. 2. Diamox reduces the swelling of the brain around the cysts and also reduces the quantity of cerebrospinal fluid produced within the brain. These two effects combine to reduce the pressure within the skull. 3. Tegrital: this reduces the chances of the patient getting epileptic fits. If your patient gets fits inspite of this drug, she may need an increase in dose of the drug or a change to a more effective anticonvulsant. There is a drug that kills the parasite. It is called albendazole. Please consult your doctor before using it for in a few instances it has caused swelling of the brain by killing several parasites which have then released harmful chemicals into the substance of the brain. There is no need to seek treatment abroad. We have ample expertise and experience in this country. The necessary drugs are also available here.