The involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) by schistosomes may or may not determine clinical manifestations. When symptomatic, neuroschistosomiasis (NS) is one of the most severe presentations of schistosomal infection. Considering the symptomatic form, cerebral involvement is almost always due to Schistosoma japonicum
and the spinal cord disease, caused by S. mansoni
or S. haematobium
. Available evidence suggests that NS depends basically on the presence of parasite eggs in the nervous tissue and on the host immune response. The patients with cerebral NS usually have the clinical manifestations of increased intracranial pressure associated with focal neurological signs; and those with schistosomal myeloradiculopathy (SMR) present rapidly progressing symptoms of myelitis involving the lower cord, usually in association with the involvement of the cauda esquina roots. The diagnosis of cerebral NS is established by biopsy of the nervous tissue and SMR is usually diagnosed according to a clinical criterion. Antischistosomal drugs, corticosteroids and surgery are the resourses available for treating NS. The outcome is variable and is better in cerebral disease.