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Natural History of Treated Neurocysticercosis and Long-Term Outcomes

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00001205
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 4, 1999
Last Update Posted : December 28, 2021
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) )

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this study is to evaluate, treat and follow patients with cysticercosis, an infection with the larval form of the pork tapeworm, T. solium. When people ingest cysts of T. solium eggs, cysts develop in the muscles, brain and other organs. The cysts enlarge and cause inflammation, usually in the brain. Patients may develop seizures, headache, nausea, vomiting, inability to walk, poor vision due to enlargement of the brain, and increased pressure in the brain. Other neurological problems may develop depending on the location of the cysts. The drugs praziquantel and albendazole are used to treat cysticercosis, but it is not clear if these drugs are effective in all patients, such as those with calcified cysts or brain enlargement.

Patients with suspected or confirmed cysticercosis may be eligible for this study. Participants will be hospitalized for 2 to 3 weeks and will take either praziquantel or albendazole by mouth for 2 weeks. They may receive a corticosteroid to lessen the side effects of the drug therapy. Patients will be evaluated with medically indicated tests and procedures that may include:

  • Blood tests.
  • X-rays of the head and long bones.
  • Electroencephalogram - recording of the electrical activity of the brain
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) - examination of the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. For this procedure, a local anesthetic is given and a needle is inserted in the space between the bones (vertebrae) in the lower back. About 2 tablespoons of fluid is collected through the needle.
  • Eye examination.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brain. MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves instead of X-rays to demonstrate structural and chemical changes in the brain. During the scan, the patient lies on a table in a narrow cylinder (the scanner). He or she can speak with a staff member via an intercom system at all times during the procedure.
  • Computed tomography (CT) to examine the brain. CT can be done from different angles and allows the doctor to view the brain in small sections in 3-dimensions. The patient lies on a table with the head positioned in the CT scanner.

Some of the tests may be repeated on the last day of therapy and at 3 and 6 months or longer after therapy.

Condition or disease

Detailed Description:
The purpose of this protocol is to follow participants with cysticercosis during and after completion of treatment, to characterize the disease course during both short- and long-term follow-up, assess biomarkers associated with infection and response to treatment, improve diagnostic assays, and explore host-parasite interactions. Cysticercosis is defined as an infection with the larval form of Taenia solium and includes infection of the brain (neurocysticercosis [NCC]) that accounts for most of the symptomatic disease and serious complications. Evaluation and treatment will be provided as clinically indicated. Clinical data and biospecimens will be collected during and after treatment to assess biomarkers of infection and inflammation, immunologic response to treatment, and correlations between biomarkers and results of clinically indicated diagnostic tests. In addition, we will collect information from patient-reported outcome questionnaires completed by participants to better understand the long-term effect on functional ability and determine if there is a correlation between clinical deficits with biomarkers of inflammation.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 500 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Natural History of Treated Neurocysticercosis and Long-Term Outcomes
Actual Study Start Date : October 7, 1985

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Male and female subjects aged 3-75 years with likely or definite neurocysticercosis (NCC) diagnosis

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To characterise the radiographic, biochemical, and clinical course of neurocysticercosis during and after treatment with long term follow up, with the goal of documenting a disease free state off anthelmintics for 7 years [ Time Frame: 7 years-indefinite ]
    To study the clinical course of cysticercosis following therapy and diminish morbidity associated with treatment of cysticercosis including neurocysticercosis or the inflammation associated with therapy

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   3 Years to 99 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Male and female subjects aged 3-99 years with likely or definite neurocysticercosis (NCC) diagnosis

    1. Patients ages 3 to 99 years.
    2. Patients with proven or likely neurocysticercosis.
    3. Willingness (of participant or legally authorized representative [LAR]) to sign consent and comply with study requirements.


Not applicable.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00001205

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Contact: JeanAnne M Ware, C.R.N.P. (301) 594-3149
Contact: Elise M O'Connell, M.D. (301) 761-5413

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United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Office of Patient Recruitment (OPR)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
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Principal Investigator: Elise M O'Connell, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Identifier: NCT00001205    
Other Study ID Numbers: 850127
First Posted: November 4, 1999    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 28, 2021
Last Verified: December 21, 2021

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) ):
Taenia Solium
Natural History
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Central Nervous System Helminthiasis
Central Nervous System Parasitic Infections
Central Nervous System Infections
Parasitic Diseases
Cestode Infections
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases