Woman's suspected brain tumor is actually a parasite
The New York woman was suffering from symptoms that led doctors to believe she had a brain tumor, but it turns out she was hosting a parasite.
MIDDLE TOWN, NEW YORK — A New York woman was suffering from symptoms that led doctors to believe she had a tumor, but it turns out she was hosting a parasite, WCYB News reports.
Rachel Palma's symptoms were terrifying. She couldn't sleep, and when she did she had awful nightmares. Palma started to have trouble speaking and her right hand would suddenly stop working.
According to WCYB News, the 42-year-old even made phone calls she couldn't remember making. She was rightfully concerned but several visits to the ER showed no specific cause for her bizarre behavior.
Finally, a doctor performed an MRI which showed damaged tissue on the left side of her brain about the size of a marble.
The initial prognosis was that it was most likely a brain tumor, or at least that's what neurosurgeon Dr. Raj Shrivastava expected. Fortunately for Palma, she had no brain tumor. Instead, doctors found an egg. Yes, an egg.
Dr. Jonathan Rasouli, chief neurosurgery resident at the hospital where Palma was treated, described it to WYCB news as, "this very firm, very well encapsulated thing. It looked like a quail egg."
Turns out, the egg contained a baby tapeworm. A parasite. Palma had a parasite growing in her brain. As disgusting as it sounds this was the best case scenario for Palma. The egg was effectively removed and Palma is now parasite free.
The medical term for this alien-like parasitic infection is neurocysticercosis and, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it is usually contracted when you swallow microscopic tapeworm eggs which can be found in raw pork.
Citing the CDC, WCYB News reports that 1,000 people are hospitalized for this type of infection each year in the U.S. Raouli also told the outlet it was "super rare" in the country. If the infection is caught on time, it can be handled with antibiotics.
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