Investigating worms of the brain

pig in water
Pigs are roaming around the village Copyright: J. Bahnarin Salud, CC BY 2.0

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Season 2, Episode 12

Pork tapeworms are responsible for between 30 and 70 per cent of epilepsy cases around the world. According to the World Health Organization, the majority of people living with epilepsy can be found in low-income countries, mostly among subsistence farming communities.

While treatments for the neglected tropical disease neurocysticercosis – which is caused by the pork tapeworm and can lead to epilepsy – are available, the medicines can be extremely difficult to access in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This week on Africa Science Focus, our reporter Michael Kaloki finds out why neuropharmacologist Priscilla Kolibea Mante’s investigations into plant-based treatments for epilepsy, pain, anxiety and depression are so important for the continent.

Africa Science Focus, with Halima Athumani.

Learn more about Priscilla Kolibea Mante’s career


This programme was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.