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Pediatric neurocysticercosis.

BACKGROUND: Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is an infestation of the nervous system caused by encysted larvae of Taenia solium. NCC is an important acquired cause of epilepsy and other neurological manifestations especially in endemic areas. NCC in children has pleomorphic manifestations depending on the location, number, viability of the cysts, and host response. Even with advancing knowledge of the disease manifestations, many aspects related to diagnosis and treatment, particularly in children, still remain controversial and pose challenges to clinical practice. There is no gold standard test to diagnose NCC and the management recommendations are still emerging. This review provides an overview of diagnosis of NCC in children and its management with special focus on current challenges and future prospects.

DISCUSSION: In developing countries, NCC is important not only because of its frequency but also because of high morbidity and mortality rates associated, especially in cases in which it progresses to increased intracranial pressure. Because of its pleomorphic presentation, NCC should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a number of neurological conditions. Treatment with cysticidal therapy leads to reduction in seizure frequency and a faster resolution of lesions.

CONCLUSIONS: We have summarized the current approaches to diagnosis and treatment of NCC, recent advances in understanding the biology of NCC, and how one can take advantage of these new insights to formulate the next generation of clinical trials.

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