Man’s 4-year-headache turns out to be tapeworm living in his brain

The good news is that a 50-year-old British man finally found some relief from the debilitating headaches and seizures that had plagued him for four years. The bad news is that the condition was caused by a 4-inch tapeworm that had managed to wriggle its way from one side of the man’s brain to the other.

The patient is of Chinese descent and is assumed to have been infected by the tapeworm on a trip to China, where this particular kind of tapeworm is typically found. According to The Guardian, 1,000 cases of that particular infection have been reported in China since 1882. Occurrences in Europe are far more rare with just 2 reported cases with this being the very first case in Britain. We’re not sure if Hallmark makes a card for this type of occasion.

The tapeworm was discovered and removed in 2012 during a 2nd brain biopsy, and the man still suffers dome residual effects of the infections. However, his physicians are still unsure of how the man picked up the infection. Doctors speculate that a likely scenario is that the worm was introduced to the body via a piece of infected meat or water. From there, the worm made its way through the body and into the brain “Wrath of Khan”-style. How’s that for nightmare fuel? As for how the worm survived for so long, doctors posit that, “[r]ather than living on the brain tissue of its unknowing victim, the parasite is thought to have simply absorbed nutrients from the man’s brain through its body as the worm has no mouth.”

On the bright side, at least the man’s headaches weren’t caused by maggots eating his brain. Gotta look for that silver lining.

source: The Guardian