For the first time in the world, some scientists have discovered a live worm in the brain of an Australian woman, according to BBC.
According to the report, the scientists said the “string-like structure” 8cm (3in) worm was pulled from the patient’s damaged frontal lobe during surgery in Canberra last year.
“It was definitely not what we were expecting. Everyone was shocked,” said operating surgeon Dr Hari Priya Bandi.
The 64-year-old woman had for months suffered symptoms like stomach pain, a cough, and night sweats, which advanced into forgetfulness and depression.
She was admitted to the hospital in late January 2021, and a scan later revealed “an atypical lesion within the right frontal lobe of the brain”.
However, the cause of her condition was only revealed by Dr Bandi’s knife during a biopsy in June 2022.
The doctors told BBC that the red parasite found in the woman’s brain could have been there for up to two months.
The report added that the woman, who lived near a lake area in south-eastern New South Wales state, is recovering well.
Her case is believed to be the first instance of a larvae invasion and development in the human brain, researchers said in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal which reported the case.
The neurosurgeon who found the worm said she had only started to touch the brain part that had shown up strangely in the scans when she felt the worm.
“I thought, gosh, that feels funny, you couldn’t see anything more abnormal,” said Dr Bandi.
“And then I was able to really feel something, and I took my tweezers and I pulled it out and I thought, ‘Gosh! What is that? It’s moving!”
“Everyone was shocked. And the worm that we found was happily moving, quite vigorously, outside the brain,” she said.