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biology research task Paper

Words: 1488, Paragraphs: 60, Pages: 5

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Biology

Nompilo Mpanza

Biology research task on Neurocysticercosis

Index page

Aim: To investigate what causes a tapeworm to enter ones bloodstream even getting to the brain, what is neurocysticercosis, is the case increasing or at risk of increasing?

Hypothesis: Not deworming, eating unhealthy processed food mostly pork and unhealthy living causes worms in bloodstream , neurocysticercosis is a sickness where there is a worm in someone’s the cases are growing and are at risk of increasing.

Reasons for selecting this topic: The recent diagnosis of a family member with neurocysticercosis made me take interest in this disease, I know of two other cases that have made me want to know exactly what causes it and if the cases are growing.


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Conduct a questionnaire A general questionnaire among the people at my church young and old to get a census of how many people deworm and if deworming has helped them.

I will ask the three people I know that have had the disease a few questions that will give me an idea of the causes of their diagnosis, with having in mind though that three samples is not enough to give a substantial conclusion. Therefore, I will also rely on the internet to make a profound conclusion.

I will consult a doctor to give me hindsight on the topic of neurocysticosis to get an idea of how many cases there are and if it is growing in South Africa.

I will consult internet in order to solidify my research and answers the question I have.

Intension of questionnaire.

The questionnaire for the people who have/ had neurocysticercosis is to understand and get on a small scale what could have been the cause of the diagnosis by getting an idea of the lifestyle of the people with the disease prior to being diagnosed. The questionnaire will look into asking general questions that would highlight possible causes of the sickness.

The general questionnaire is to get an overview of how many people deworm, and if there is cause to get worried about the increase in neurocysticercosis because of the numbers of people who deworm. It would also look into finding the effectiveness of deworming.

Intention of talking to a medical doctor.

To get professional insight from a medical doctor about this sickness and the thoughts and experience of this doctor with neurocysticercosis. I want to find out the doctors thought on what is this sickness what causes it and, if it is a growing case. Questionnaire for people who have/had neurocysticercosis.

My name is Nompilo Mpanza I am a grade 12 student studying biology, may I please ask a few questions for my research task on neurocysticercosis, I promise all the information will be confidential.

43738231260700Have you ever dewormed?

43799028612900Yes: No:

43497531051500If yes, were you diagnoised after deworming?

43799028612900Yes: No:

111125038036500How would you decribe your lifestyle prior to being diagnoised?

95758057594500164909527559000Very healthy: Moderately healthy: Unhealthy:

44132562420500Did you exercise or particiipate in any sporting activity before being diagnosed?

37172030528500Yes: No:

12398639257000Which province were you born and raised at?

How would you describe your diet prior to being diagnosed?

110871050736500197612020828000977265-889000Balanced: Moderately Balanced: Unbalanced:

42291035941000Did you eat foods with pork prior to being diagnosed?

42291027877600Yes: No:

General Questionnaire

Hello my name is Nompilo Mpanza; I am grade 12 biology student. May you please answer the following short questionnaire? I promise that your answers will be confidential and you will stay anonymous.

30064218675900Do you deworm?

30035517843500Yes: No:

29972021844000Have you had worms since started deworming?

30099019304000Yes: No:

Results from the people that had neurocysticercosis.

All three of the people had never dewormed before being diagnosed.

One of the girls would describe their lifestyle prior to being diagnosed as unhealthy, the one said moderately healthy and the other said healthy.

Two of the girls said they participated in sporting activities prior to being diagnosed while the other one said she hadn’t done any sport.

All three ladies were born and raised in Gauteng

All three ladies described their diet as moderately balanced

They all ate pork prior to being diagnosed

Analysis of these results

Although the sample is little as it is three people. The results suggest that the cause of the tape worm in the brain could be the effects of not deworming. Only one of the girls described their lifestyle as unhealthy and hence we cannot quite conclude from this that an unhealthy lifestyle could be a cause of neurocysticercosis. The fact that two of the girls did sport shows how lack in exercise and doing sport does not have an effect on neurocysticercosis. This disease being said to be more dominant in the North West province is eliminated by the fact that all the people above have been born and raised in Gauteng. All three of these people are said to have described their diet as moderately balanced and they all at pork this could suggest that diet and pork could possibly make those a cause.

Results of people general questionnaire

Twenty people from my church of different ages were used for this questionnaire.

Analysis of information: of the people I asked about deworming 15/20 people said they do not deworm and 5/20 people said they do. This means only 25% of the people I asked deworm and the remainder 75% do not. Although this data sample is not big as to be substantial enough to make a conclusion. One can evidently see how a lot of people do not deworm; this may foreshadow a greater risk of neurocysticercosis and hence answer the question of is it a growing cause.

Analysis of information: of the 5 people that said yes they have dewormed 4/5 said they have never had worms and 1/5 said they have had worms since having dewormed. With this small sample of data, it is evident how deworming limits even ultimately eliminates chances of having worms.

Conversation with doctor.

Dr. M . Sithole

Question: Hello Dr Sithole may ask what is your experience with neurocysticosis? What is the

Internet findings

Neurocysticercosis is an infection that affects the brain. It is when a tapeworm has entered ones bloodstream and travelled to the brain of that certain individual. It is one of the common causes of seizures and ultimately causes 30% of epilepsy cases. The disease was found and known of since 2000 B.C and hence not a recent disease. The Parasitic disease is common.

Neurocysticercosis in 2015 had 400 deaths worldwide. It has a long-term duration. People may go years without symptoms or even few symptoms. The pork tapeworm is common in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. In South Africa, the cases are more common in the North West. The worm is referred to as cysticerca and is usually 5-20mm in diameter.

The cysts is in the ventricles of the brain and blocks outflow of the fluid in the brain. Symptoms of neurocysticercosis is severe uncontrollable headaches and often presents itself as seizures.

The main cause and source of the neurocysticercosis is the ingestion of pork tapeworm or the eggs of a tapeworm. This can be ingested in many different ways. The tapeworm eggs could be acquired from faeces of someone who has a tapeworm even though it is not contagious, this could be from eating or drinking contaminated food or water with these faeces. The eggs often enter the intestine and develop into larvae that then enter the bloodstream and could ultimately invade hosts tissue like in the case of neurocysticercosis the brain.

The eggs could also be acquired from bad sanitation and hygiene. Sitting on unsanitary places like dirty toilets or touching unhygienic places could result in acquiring the eggs of a pork tapeworm when come in contact with openings of the body.

Eating pork is also a cause of neurocysticercosis. This could be because of the under cooking of pork that allows for a greater chance of survival of the eggs and hence the ingestion of those eggs. Neurocysticercosis is more common where pork is a part of the diet.

Deworming is giving humans drugs to rid them of parasites such as tapeworm. Deworming reduces spread of worm infections in the community. It is easy to get deworming medicine even over the counter but a lot people do not deworm. People should at least deworm once every 6 months. Deworming is not compulsory like vaccinations, many people still do not deworm and hence there is still risk of growing neurocysticercosis.


Although the sample of the questionnaire for people that had neurocysticercosis is little with the evidence provided by the results and extra information from different sources one can conclude. Neurocysticercosis is an infection in the brain tissue by a pork worm. The causes of the tapeworm to invade the body and ultimately get to the brain include the ingestion of tapeworms or the eggs of tapeworm. These worms


BIBLIOGRAPHY anon, 2017. World Health Organization. [Online] Available at: 28 april 2019].

anon, n.d. wekipedia. [Online] Available at: 28 april 2019].

Steven Doerr, M., n.d. MedicineNet. [Online] Available at: 28 april 2019].

Zafar, M. J., 2018. Mediscape. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 april 2019].

Medical records from Sunward hospital of patient Bongiwe Nhlapo

Book: Brain Disease and Mettaloproteins by David R. Bown

Youtube video titled all I got for Christmas was a tapeworm in my brain

BIBLIOGRAPHY anon, 2016. Cipla. [Online] Available at: 28 april 2019].

About the author

This academic paper is composed by Samuel. He studies Biological Sciences at Ohio State University. All the content of this work reflects his personal knowledge about biology research task and can be used only as a source for writing a similar paper.

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