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Lancet. 1993 Jan 23;341(8839):197-200.

Cysticercosis as a major cause of epilepsy in Peru. The Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru (CWG)

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  • 1Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima.


In countries where cysticercosis is endemic, the proportion of epilepsy due to cysticercosis is not well documented. To investigate the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy, we used the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) assay to detect serum antibodies to Taenia solium in 498 consecutive outpatients at a neurology clinic in Lima, Peru. Every patient was classified as epileptic (n = 189) or non-epileptic (n = 309) after neurological, and where possible electroencephalographic, examination. A substantially higher proportion of epileptic than non-epileptic patients was seropositive in the EITB (22 [12%] vs 8 [3%], p < 0.001). 19% of epileptic patients born outside Lima, 20% of those with late-onset epilepsy, and 29% of patients with both these characteristics were seropositive. Thus, in Peru, cysticercosis is an important aetiological factor for epilepsy.

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