Neurocysticercosis is a specific form of the infectious parasitic disease cysticercosis which is caused by infection with Taenia solium, a tapeworm found in pigs. Neurocysticercosis 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" and "arguably the most common parasitic disease of the human nervous system".
The epidemiology of Taenia solium cysticercosis is solely associated with cultural values and poor sanitation and it is highly endemic in Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia. Infection by Taenia solium cysticercosis, the pork tapeworm larvae in human, spares no ethnic group. Cysticercosis in the United States, which commonly presents in the form of neurocysticercosis, has been classified as a "neglected tropical disease", which commonly affects the poor and homeless. Neurocysticercosis most commonly involves the cerebral cortex followed by the cerebellum. The pituitary gland 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 gland may result in multiple pituitary hormone deficiency.
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