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Both helminthiases and epilepsy occur globally, and are particularly prevalent in developing regions of the world. Studies have suggested an association between epilepsy and helminth infection, but a causal relationship is not established in many helminths, except perhaps with neurocysticercosis. We review the available literature on the global burden of helminths, and the epidemiological evidence linking helminths to epilepsy. We discuss possible routes that helminths affect the central nervous system (CNS) of humans and the immunological response to helminth infection in the CNS, looking at possible mechanisms of epileptogenesis. Finally, we discuss the current gaps in knowledge about the interaction between helminths and epilepsy.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1365-3024.2009.01128.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Parasite Immunol

Publication Date

11/2009

Volume

31

Pages

697 - 705

Keywords

Animals, Central Nervous System, Epilepsy, Helminthiasis, Helminths, Host-Parasite Interactions, Humans, Virulence