Volume 73, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Cysticercosis due to infection is endemic in developing countries of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. This study was designed to establish the prevalence of cysticercosis in 158 inpatients of a psychiatric institution in the state of Tachira (Venezuela) and in 127 healthy control subjects. Positive blood tests for cysticercosis by Western blotting were recorded in 18.35% of the patients and in 1.57% of the controls. Individuals with mental retardation were found to carry an increased risk of cysticercosis (RR: 2.92; 1.22 < 2.92 > 7.0; < 0.05) compared with patients with other psychiatric disorders. Taeniasis by spp. was not demonstrated in the patient group, although a high incidence of infection by other helminths (95.1%) was detected. The high prevalence of cysticercosis in the psychiatric inpatient group, compared with healthy individuals, and the lack of a differential diagnosis of neurocysticercosis suggest cerebral cysticercosis in a large proportion of these patients. Cysticercosis could be the origin of the psychiatric disorders of these patients and may also be due to contact with the parasite in an environment with poor hygiene conditions and a deficient health care system.


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  • Received : 28 Aug 2004
  • Accepted : 06 Apr 2005

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