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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-20

High prevalence of neurocysticercosis among patients with epilepsy in a tertiary care hospital of Assam, India

1 ICMR, Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh, Assam, India
2 ICMR, Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh; Department of Biotechnology, Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam, India
3 Department of Neurology, Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Kanwar Narain
ICMR, Regional Medical Research Centre, N. E. Region, Dibrugarh - 786 001, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.TP_72_20

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Background: Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a parasitic disease of the central nervous system, which is caused by the metacestode of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. The present unicentric, hospital-based, cross-sectional study was undertaken to assess the contribution of NCC as a cause of active epilepsy among patients attending a tertiary health care center in Assam, India. Materials and Methods: Over a period of 2 years, 152 active epilepsy patients were investigated based on clinical, epidemiological, neuroimaging (contrast-enhanced computerized tomography), and immunological techniques to establish the diagnosis of NCC. A precoded questionnaire was administered to patients and/or guardians to collect detailed medical history. Results: Ninety-three cases (61.2%) fulfilled either definitive or probable diagnostic criteria for NCC. Anti-cysticercus immunoglobulin G antibodies were detected by ELISA and enzyme electro-immune transfer blot in 69 (45.4%) active epilepsy patients. Seroprevalence was higher in males, 46.6% (54/116); than in females, 41.7% (15/36), and increased significantly with age; peaking in the 20–39 years age group (36/76; χ2 = 5.64; P = 0.02). Among the seropositive cases, 54 (78.3%) were diagnosed with NCC. A significantly higher number of seropositive individuals were diagnosed with NCC in the 20–39 years age group as compared to the 40 years and above age group (χ2 = 6.28; P = 0.01). The association between seropositivity for NCC, and the number of lesions in the brain was statistically significant (χ2 = −8.33; P = 0.003). Conclusions: This study indicates that NCC is a major cause of active epilepsy in Assam. A high prevalence of pediatric NCC is also a major concern.

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