Brain Worm: US doctors looking for brain tumour in woman find worm instead
* A brain worm in a human brain?
* Doctors look for brain tumour but find a live worm
* Surgeon chuckled as he removed it
* Woman is expected to make full recovery
SURGEONS searching for a suspected tumour inside a woman's brain were astonished when they instead pulled out a live worm.
Doctors in the southwest US state of Arizona operated on Rosemary Alvarez after she started experiencing numbness in her arm and blurred vision, MyFOXPhoenix.com reported.
Ms Alvarez went to the emergency room twice and had a CT scan, but everything came up clear.
It wasn’t until doctors took a closer look at an MRI that they discovered something very disturbing.
"Once we saw the MRI we realised this is something not good,” neurosurgeon, Dr Peter Nakaji said.
"It's something down in her brain stem which is as deep in the brain as you can be."
Ms Alvarez was wheeled into surgery where Dr Nakaji and his colleagues were expecting to remove a tumour.
On a video of the surgery, Dr Nakaji can be heard chuckling after he made the discovery of the worm.
Click here to go to video page
"I'm sure this is a very strange response for the people in the operating room," he told MyFOXPhoenix.com.
"But because I was so pleased to know that it wasn't going to be something terrible."
Doctors removed the worm and believe Ms Alvarez will not have any lingering health problems.
No one knows exactly where she picked up the worm - doctors said worms can come from eating undercooked pork or spread by people who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom, according to the report.
"It only takes one person who is spreading it constantly to get a lot of people exposed and some of those people are going to go on to develop this problem," Dr Nakaji said.
Ms Alvarez, who is now healthy and has resumed normal activities such a playing ball with family in her backyard, said she hopes people learn this lesson from her story.
"Wash your hands, wash your hands," she said.
It also pays to take regular medication for worm and parasite treatment such as mebendazol and vermox. They are sold over the counter in most countries except the USA and Canada where the pharmaceutical companies could lose big money if people got rid of their parasites.
Articles about MMS killing intestinal worms “Wash your hands, wash your hands,” she said.