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Nervenarzt. 2010 Feb;81(2):162-71. doi: 10.1007/s00115-009-2853-7.

[Parasitic diseases of the central nervous system].

[Article in German]

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Neurologische Intensivstation, Universitätsklinik für Neurologie, Medizinische Universität-Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, Innsbruck, Austria.


Central nervous system infections and infestations by protozoa and helminths constitute a problem of increasing importance throughout all of central European and northern/western countries. This is partially due to the globalisation of our society, tourists and business people being more frequently exposed to parasitic infection/infestation in tropical countries than in moderate climate countries. On top of that, migrants may import chronic infestations and infections with parasitic pathogens, eventually also--sometimes exclusively--involving the nervous system. Knowledge of epidemiology, initial clinical signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures as well as specific chemotherapeutic therapies and adjunctive therapeutic strategies is of utmost important in all of these infections and infestations of the nervous systems, be it by protozoa or helminths. This review lists, mainly in the form of tables, all possible infections and infestations of the nervous systems by protozoa and by helminths. Besides differentiating parasitic diseases of the nervous system seen in migrants, tourists etc., it is very important to have in mind that disease-related (e.g. HIV) or iatrogenic immunosuppression has led to the increased occurrence of a wide variety of parasitic infections and infestations of the nervous system (e. g. babesiosis, Chagas disease, Strongyloides stercoralis infestation, toxoplasmosis, etc.).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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