What would be the symptoms of a parasitic infection of the brain?
March 14, 2018 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Asking for fictional reasons. The parasite in question is T. Cruzi, which is the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Usually the little guy hangs out in heart muscle and causes heart attacks, but in this universe, the parasite now likes to live and reproduce in brain tissue.

I have zero medical background so I apologize if the question is a little bonkers. So what symptoms might manifest in a person who has a chronic T. Cruzi infection in their brain?

posted by angrycat to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Different organism, but here's a nice summary article describing research on the effects of T. gondii (toxoplasmosis) on humans. Just putting it in to give you an idea of how complex and subtle some of these effects can be.
posted by jasper411 at 10:35 AM on March 14, 2018

Another different organism, but brain-eating amoebas are pretty destructive . . .
posted by aspersioncast at 10:58 AM on March 14, 2018

Yet another different organism, but this article talks about neurocysticercosis (T. Solium [tapeworm] in the brain). Looks like seizures and headaches are the most common symptoms there.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 11:13 AM on March 14, 2018

Hey, is there a reason the person can't have T. cruzi's distant cousin, T. brucei, instead? brucei does hang out in the brain and causes African Sleeping Sickness. The neurological symptoms are basically screwed up circadian rhythms, confusion, headaches, ataxia, and paralysis, leading to death.
posted by juliapangolin at 8:40 PM on March 14, 2018

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