Tapeworm Egg Found In a Woman’s Brain During Search For Tumour

Doctors who mistook the mass in woman’s brain as brain tumor, discovered it to be a baby tapeworm.

2 min read
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Doctors who operated on a woman’s brain to remove tumor, were shocked to find a mass resembling a quail’s egg in her head.

Rachel Palma, 42, who was operated at Mount Sinai in New York last September had a baby tapeworm in her head that the doctors had mistaken for a brain tumor.

Doctors had told Rachel Palma that lesion on her brain was suspected to be a tumor, and her scans suggested that it was cancerous.


Palma, a newlywed entering a new chapter in her life, said she was in shock, unwilling to believe it was true.

On finding out that the mass inside her brain was not a tumor but a tapeworm, Palma said she had mixed feelings. She was happy that no further treatment was required for her. She also said that she was grossed out to know that there was a tapeworm growing inside an egg in her head.

Palma used to experience hallucinations and insomnia. By January 2018, the symptoms started getting worse. She could not hold things like coffee mugs in her hands and would drop them eventually. She faced problems while texting people. She started experiencing confusion— locking herself out of the house, showing up for work without her uniform and staring at her computer screen, unable to make sense of the words.

After doctor’s appointments and trips to the emergency room, Palma went to see specialists at Mount Sinai Hospital who identified a lesion on her left frontal lobe, near a speech center. Upon further inspection, the doctors found that it was clearly not a tumor.

Doctors diagnosed Palma with neurocysticercosis, a parasitic infection in the brain caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Jonathan Rasouli, chief neurosurgery resident at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai said that it was a very shocking experience.


Palma said that her case was a rare occurrence and not every headache would be because of a parasite. She said that her symptoms had subsided almost 100%.

“The best part of my story is it has a happy ending,” she told The Washington Post.

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Topics:  New York   Brain Tumour 

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