A tapeworm infection that forms cysts in the brain, muscle and other tissues.


Cysticercosis spreads by contact with tapeworm-infected human stool. Swallowing food or water infected with the tapeworm and putting dirty fingers in the mouth are sources of contact. People with the tapeworm can reinfect themselves and infect others.


Cysticercosis causes cysts. Cysts in the muscles may cause lumps under the skin. Cysts in the eyes can cause vision changes. Cysts in the brain or spinal cord can cause headaches and seizures. The disease can be fatal.


The tapeworm may leave the body on its own. Sometimes medicines to kill the tapeworm and to stop seizures are needed. Surgery might be needed to remove cysts in some places, if medicines don't work or to reduce brain swelling.