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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 225-241

Neurocysticercosis and movement disorders: A literature review

1 Department of Medicine, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil
2 Department of Medicine, Federal University of Fronteira Sul, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Jamir Pitton Rissardo
Av. Roraima, 1000 - Camobi, Santa Maria - RS 97105-900
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bc.bc_48_20

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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a specific form of cysticercosis that affects the central nervous system. It is caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, which is often found in pigs. NCC is considered one of the “great simulator/mimickers” of other diseases. In this context, movement disorders (MDs) can occur in a small percentage of individuals with NCC. This review aims to evaluate the clinicoepidemiological profile, pathological mechanisms, and historical features of NCC-associated MD. Relevant reports in six databases were identified and assessed by two reviewers without language restriction. A total of 71 reports containing 148 individuals who developed an MD related to NCC were identified. NCC-associated MD included parkinsonism (n = 47), ataxia (n = 32), chorea (n = 18), dystonia (n = 13), tremor (n = 8), myokymia (n = 6), myoclonus (n = 4), ballism (n = 1), tics (n = 1), and others (n = 18). The mean and median ages were 36.58 (standard deviation: 20.51) and 35 years (age range: 1–88 years), respectively. There was a slight predominance of female sex (52.17%). On follow-up, 58.90% of the individuals had a full recovery; two deaths were reported. We believe that the majority of cases reported were only diagnosed because patients had classical clinical manifestations generally investigated by neuroimaging, resulting in incidental findings suggestive of NCC, which were later supported by laboratory examinations. Therefore, the association between NCC and MD is probably underreported. Clinicians should be wary of this association, mainly in endemic areas for cysticercosis.

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