Cysticercosis is a parasitic infection that results from ingestion of eggs from the adult tapeworm, Taenia solium
).When Cysticercosis involves the central nervous system, it is called neurocysticercosis; it is the most prevalent infection of the brain and one of the leading causes of adult-onset seizures woldwide. The disease has a world-wide distribution and is endemic in Mexico, Central and South America, and parts of Africa, Asia, and India with an estimated 20 million persons infected with cysticerci yearly worldwide. The study aimed at determining the epidemiological and clinical profile of neurocysticercosis at BUTH.
It is a retrospective descriptive study carried out on patients admitted/treated for neurocysticercosis in Internal Medicine/Neurology Department of BUTH for a period of eighteen months, from February 01, 2008 to July 31, 2009. Registers and files for patients were consulted to collect data and MS Word 2007, Epi data 3.1, SPSS 14.0 are the software used.
Out of 2387 patients admitted in Internal Medicine during our study period 34 were diagnosed and treated for neurocysticercosis i.e. a hospital prevalence rate estimated at 1.4% in the department of Internal Medicine/Neurology, and our study noted an increase in number of cases diagnosed since 2008; patients from Huye and Nyaruguru districts are the most affected. Epilepsy was present in 24 patients (70.5%), headache in 18 patients (52.9%). CT-scan was an important tool to confirm the diagnosis. Albendazole plus corticosteroids (dexamethasone or prednisolone) and antiepileptics if seizures are the common means used to treat neurocysticercosis at BUTH; neurosurgery was required in three patients.
Neurocysticercosis is a common diagnosis in the department of Internal Medicine/Neurology at BUTH. Epilepsy and headache are the commonest presenting complaints and the diagnosis is made by the means of brain CT-scan; the treatment is based on albendazole and corticosteroids. It is a potentially preventable disease and preventive strategies such as more intense meat inspection and preparation, improvement of hygiene standards and vaccination against T.solium
should be undertaken. A study on the community prevalence is necessary