Unveiling the Living Worm Inside a Brain

It’s the stuff of nightmares and last week it was making real life headlines when a surgeon pulled a living, wriggling 8cm roundworm out of a woman’s brain.


The 64-year-old patient from Australia had been feeling unwell since 2021 when she was admitted to hospital following three weeks of abdominal pain and diarrhoea, as well as a constant dry cough, fever and night sweats.


A year later, and with no diagnosis to explain her symptoms, she started to complain of forgetfulness and depression. After booking her in for an MRI scan, doctors found abnormalities requiring surgery – and that’s when they found the roundworm.

Usually associated with pythons, it was a world-first for the parasite to be found in humans and it is thought the woman may have contracted it from native grasses she collected for cooking.





Infectious diseases physician, Dr Sanjaya Senanayake, said the patient needed to be treated for other larvae that might have invaded other parts of her body, such as the liver.


So far, so chilling … especially when you realise we are ALL hosting parasites.


Parasites are an uncomfortable fact of life and, once they are in, they can be found anywhere in our bodies; travelling to the lungs, organs and, yes, even our brains. Thankfully, the woman in Australia is said to be doing well after her ordeal, but if left untreated, parasites can go on to cause serious damage.
Because there are many different types of parasites, their symptoms can vary, but watch out for:
•       Diarrhoea;
•       Nausea and vomiting;
•       Abdominal pain;
•       Skin rashes;
•       Increased appetite;
•       Unexplained weight loss;
•       Muscle aches;
•       Fever;
•       Chills;
•       Insomnia;
•       Fatigue;
•       Weakness.


There are a number of tests that can be done to detect the presence of parasites and a number of protocols and medications out there to deal with them. However, the greatest help you can give your body is to keep your immune system strong. To find out more, call us today.

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