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Neurocysticercosis is a specific form of the infectious parasitic disease cysticercosis which is caused by infection with Taenia solium, a tapeworm found in pigs. Neuro-cysticercosis occurs when cysts formed by the infection grow within the brain causing neurologic syndromes such as epileptic seizures. It has been called a "hidden epidemic" [1] and "arguably the most common parasitic disease of the human nervous system"[2]

Cysticercosis in the United States, which commonly presents in the form of neurocysticercosis, has been classified as a "neglected tropical disease" [3] which commonly affects the poor and homeless. Neurocysticercosis most commonly involves the cerebral cortex followed by cerebellum. Pituitary is very rarely involved in neurocysticercosis. The cysts may rarely coalesce and form a tree like pattern which is known as racemose neurocysticercosis, which when involving the pituitary may result in multiple pituitary hormone deficiency.[4]


  1. ^ Zimmer, Carl (2012-05-15). "Hidden Epidemic: Tapeworms Living Inside People's Brains". Discover Magazine. 
  2. ^ "White, A. Clinton. "Neurocysticercosis: a major cause of neurological disease worldwide." Clinical Infectious Diseases (1997): 101-113.". 
  3. ^ Hotez, Peter J. "Neglected Parasitic Infections and Poverty in the United States". PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 
  4. ^ Dutta D, Kumar M, Ghosh S, Mukhopadhyay S, Chowdhury S. Multiple pituitary hormone deficiency due to pituitary racemose neurocysticercosis. Lancet: Diabetes & Endocrinology 2013Oct;1(2):e13 PMID:24622323