Corticosteroid use in neurocysticercosis

Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 Aug;11(8):1175-83. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.86.


The cystic larvae of Taenia solium commonly infect the human nervous system, resulting in neurocysticercosis, a major contributor to seizure disorders in most of the world. Inflammation around the parasites is a hallmark of neurocysticercosis pathophysiology. Although mechanisms regulating this inflammation are poorly understood, anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly corticosteroids, have been long used alone or with anthelmintics to manage disease and limit neurological complications and perhaps damage to neural tissues. Only scarce controlled data exist to determine when and what type of corticosteroids and the treatment regime to use. This article revisits the mechanisms of action, rationale, evidence of benefit, safety and problems of corticosteroids in the context of neurocysticercosis, as well as alternative anti-inflammatory strategies to limit the damage caused by inflammation in the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / pharmacology
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / parasitology
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Neurocysticercosis / drug therapy*
  • Neurocysticercosis / parasitology
  • Neurocysticercosis / physiopathology
  • Taenia solium / drug effects
  • Taenia solium / physiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anthelmintics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents