2 parasite questions

gary schmertmann froglog at bellsouth.net
Fri Apr 16 22:19:06 EST 1999


My stepchildren, ages 9 and 11, live in Sydney, Australia with their
mom. They had recently been to the dentist. Apparently, my stepson has
been grinding his teeth a lot lately.  The dentist felt it was due to an
'Aussie worm/parasite' and recommended that the whole family take a dose
of deworming medication, with my stepson taking an additional dose a
week later.

Does anyone know the name of the parasite(s) (Genus and Species or
common name) that can cause someone to grind his/her teeth?  The
majority of information I found on the Internet mentioned bruxism as a
symptom of parasitic infections, but never listed the name(s) of the
parasite responsible.  By what mechanism does a  parasitic infection
cause a person to grind his/her teeth?  How would one contract it? Is it
a common parasitic infection in Sydney? Is treatment (assuming the
correct medicine was prescribed) always effective?   

One of the articles I came across was entitled, "Are you clear of
parasites?" by Dr. Ross Anderson. In the article he quoted: 

"In recent medical studies, it has been estimated that 85% of the North
American adult population has at least one form of parasite living in
their bodies. Some authorities feel this figure may be as high as
95%."    

Does anyone know the source of the quotation?  Since the article was
associated with an ad for a colon cleansing treatment, I don't have much
faith in its use of technical information.

Also, another article mentioned that parasitic infections can have
neurologic effects similar to seizures.  I believe the source quoted was
a parasitic textbook.  The same article also mentioned an investigation
by the CDC in which 3 Jewish men were found to be infected with a
parasite commonly found in pork.  Does anyone recognize the article? Can
anyone provide the name of the textbook referenced that talks about
seizures as a potential symptom of parasitic infections?  Has anyone
ever heard of seizure-like symptoms being reported and then  attributed
to a parasitic infection?  


Thanks,
Marcia



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