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As scientists released details of a man whose brain was home to a tapeworm for four years, another Briton has come forward to describe how he, too, was diagnosed with a tapeworm in the brain.
A 50-year-old unnamed man lived for years with a rare parasite in his brain that was only discovered when he went to hospital complaining of a headache – and doctors extracted a 1cm worm and a large number of eggs that had eaten part of his brain matter.
And now Peter Donnelly, a former teacher, has spoken of his own similar experience in a guest piece in The Telegraph.
‘About seventeen years ago I started feeling odder than usual, with an antipathy to windows, mirrors and glass in general,’ he writes.
‘I also felt claustrophobic in cars and experienced dizziness and mental absences. I thought I was going mad.’
Mr Donnelly, from north London, describes how he was initially diagnosed with mini-strokes, but was eventually taken to hospital after suffering five epileptic fits in the same evening.
A series of tests seemed to show that he had a fast-growing brain tumour until doctors finally operated – and found a dead tropical tapeworm.
‘This struck everyone as utterly remarkable – especially as I have never visited the tropics. That mystery remains,’ Mr Donnelly writes.
Mr Donnelly goes on to say that the illness is commonplace in the developing world, and easily treated by a 10-day course of antibiotics, and adds that his experience has put him ‘on a new track’ as a comic poetic entertainer.