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Serological screening for cysticercosis in mentally altered individuals

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The parasitic infection neurocysticercosis may give rise to a variety of psychiatric manifestations that resemble, but are different from, primary psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to determine if among individuals from a neurocysticercosis-endemic area of Colombia who apparently had a psychiatric manifestation with associated neurological finding (`cases'), some could have been infected with Taenia solium cysticerci. This case–control study was done in individuals hospitalized in two mental institutions. The control-1 individuals were those classified with primary psychiatric disease, and the control-2 group consisted of healthy, non-hospitalized individuals. A serological test for cysticercosis was positive in 5/96 (5.1%) cases, 4/153 (2.6%) psychiatric controls, and 5/246 (2%) healthy controls. The data analysis indicated a weak association between the cases and a positive serology for neurocysticercosis (odds ratio > 2; P > 0.05). The lower education level of the cases influenced this association.
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Keywords: education level; mental alteration; neurocysticercosis; psychiatric; psychosis; seizures; serology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universidad de Nariño, Centro de Estudios en Salud, San Juan de Pasto, Colombia, 2: School of Medicine, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia, 3: Neurology Service, Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, Medellín, Colombia, 4: San Pedro and Perpetuo Socorro Mental Hospitals, San Juan de Pasto-Nariño, Colombia, 5: Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia, 6: Molecular Parasitology Group, Corporación para Investigaciones Biológicas, Medellín, Colombia

Publication date: 01 June 2002

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