Parasitic worm found in Chinese woman’s brain

By Zhao Chenyan (
Updated: 2011-07-06 13:55
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Removing a parasitic worm from someone's brain may sound like a scene from a movie, but it happened in reality in China's Jiangsu province.

A 23cm-long, live parasitic worm was found in a young Chinese woman's brain and has been successfully removed after a complicated open brain surgery in East China's Jiangsu province, the Yangtze Evening Post reported on Wednesday.

The patient, who did not want to be named, was diagnosed with epilepsy in December 2010. But after blood tests a doctor noticed that she was infected with pathogens and a CT scan also showed an unknown spot in her brain.

Half a year later, having once again suffered violent seizures, the patient underwent surgery.

During the operation, doctors found granuloma, a special type of inflammation, in her brain and thought it was the reason for her epilepsy.

But later, they discovered the parasitic worm, which they believed was the real cause of the granuloma and her epilepsy.

The doctor who performed the operation said, based on its appearance, it was a tape worm.

The patient is now in recovery.

Experts say the parasitic worm might have got into her system after she inadvertently ate some food infected with the creature's eggs, but the certain source of the worm is still unknown.

They reminded the public to pay close attention to food hygiene and to ensure food is cooked well before eating.