The association between neurocysticercosis and hippocampal atrophy is related to age

Oscar H. Del Brutto, Naoum P. Issa, Perla Salgado, Victor J. Del Brutto, Mauricio Zambrano, Julio Lama, Héctor H. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Neurocysticercosis (NCC) has been associated with hippocampal atrophy, but the prevalence and pathogenic mechanisms implicated in this relationship are unknown. Using a population-based, case-control study design, residents in a rural village (Atahualpa) aged ≥ 40 years with calcified NCC were identified as cases and paired to NCCfree individuals (control subjects) matched by age, sex, and level of education. Cases and control subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging for hippocampal rating according to the Scheltens' scale for medial temporal atrophy and were interviewed to identify those with a clinical seizure disorder. The prevalence of hippocampal atrophy was compared between cases and control subjects by the use of the McNemar's test for correlated proportions. Seventy-five individuals with calcified NCC and their matched control subjects were included in the analysis. Hippocampal atrophy was noted in 26 (34.7%) cases and nine (12%) control subjects (odds ratio: 4.4; 95% confidence interval: 1.6-14.9, P < 0.0021). Stratification of pairs according to tertiles of age revealed an age-related trend in this association, which became significant only in those aged ≥ 68 years (P = 0.027). Only five cases and one control had recurrent seizures (P = 0.221); three of these five cases had hippocampal atrophy, and the single control subject had normal hippocampi. This study confirms an association between NCC and hippocampal atrophy, and shows that this association is stronger in older age groups. This suggests that NCC-related hippocampal atrophy takes a long time to develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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