Clinical presentation of neurocysticercosis-related epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2017 Nov:76:151-157. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.08.008. Epub 2017 Sep 5.


Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the most common parasitic infection of the central nervous system and a major risk factor for seizures and epilepsy. Seizure types in NCC vary largely across studies and seizure semiology is poorly understood. We discuss here the studies regarding seizure types and seizure semiology in NCC, and examine the clinical presentation in patients with NCC and drug-resistant epilepsy. We also provide evidence of the role of MRI and EEG in the diagnosis of NCC-related epilepsy. Focal seizures are reported in 60-90% of patients with NCC-related epilepsy, and around 90% of all seizures registered prospectively are focal not evolving to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures. A great number of cases suggest that seizure semiology is topographically related to NCC lesions. Patients with hippocampal sclerosis and NCC have different clinical and neurophysiological characteristics than those with hippocampal sclerosis alone. Different MRI protocols have allowed to better differentiate NCC from other etiologies. Lesions' stages might account on the chances of finding an interictal epileptiform discharge. Studies pursuing the seizure onset in patients with NCC are lacking and they are specially needed to determine both whether the reported events of individual cases are seizures, and whether they are related to the NCC lesion or lesions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Neurocysticercosis and Epilepsy".

Keywords: Electroencephalography; Epilepsy; Neurocysticercosis; Seizure semiology; Seizure type.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / complications
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Neurocysticercosis / complications
  • Neurocysticercosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures / diagnosis*