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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

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?  


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