NYT: RFK Jr. says worm got into my brain and ate part of it



CNN

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suffered a series of health problems in recent years, one of which he said was abnormally caused by a worm that entered his brain and later died. The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

In 2010, Kennedy, now 70, experienced severe memory loss and mental fog, she said in a deposition two years later. According to the Times, he is survived by his uncle, the late Sen., who died of brain cancer in 2009. Ted consulted top neurologists familiar with Kennedy’s medical history. A New York doctor, after scanning his brain, told him his health problems “caused a worm to get into my brain and eat part of it and then die,” Kennedy said of his 2012 divorce from his second wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy. At the time, Robert Kennedy said his earning power was negatively affected by cognitive issues, the Times reported.

At the same time, the Times said, he suffered from mercury poisoning, which can lead to loss of peripheral vision, muscle weakness and neurological complications such as loss of movement, hearing and speech, as well as memory. Kennedy told the newspaper that he had recovered from the amnesia and brain fog and did not need treatment for the parasite.

In addition, he had struggled with atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, an irregular heartbeat, for decades. She told the Times that it has been more than a decade since she suffered from the condition, and she hopes she no longer suffers from it.

Kennedy’s campaign declined to release his medical records to the Times. In a statement to CNN, Kennedy’s campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Spear said she had “traveled extensively in Africa, South America and Asia” as part of her work as an environmental advocate and that she contracted the parasite during one of those trips.

See also  Burning Man: Thousands of festival goers stranded in Nevada desert after rain

“The problem was resolved 10 years ago and he is in strong physical and mental health. Mr. “Questioning Kennedy’s health is a ludicrous suggestion given his competition,” the campaign said, referring to the advanced ages of President Joe Biden, 81, and former President Donald Trump, 77.

Dr. Peter Hodes, dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston and an infectious disease expert, told CNN it was difficult to fully review Kennedy’s claim without seeing the scans. “It’s an incomplete story,” he said.

But generally speaking, people with a pork tapeworm infection of the brain — a condition known as neurocysticercosis — usually experience seizures and sometimes need to take anti-seizure drugs for a long time because when the worms die, they form plaques. A cyst in the brain causes the brain to release inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.

A link to memory problems and dementia is under study, Hodes said. Those symptoms are related to mercury poisoning, and Kennedy told the Times that at the time he was diagnosed with the disease, he was consuming large amounts of tuna and perch.

“Yes, worms do not feed on brains. They live in the brain,” said Dr. Hodes. The worms get nutrients from the body, but they don’t eat brain tissue, he said.

Pork tapeworm infections can be difficult to detect because when the worm is alive it hides itself from detection and does not show up on scans. It’s more common to find the worm after it dies and leaves a calcified cyst in the brain, Hodes said.

See also  NFL playoffs: Cincinnati Bengals beat Buffalo Bills weeks after Damar Hamlin collapse

Kennedy said she changed her lifestyle following these health episodes, such as sleeping more, traveling less, reducing her fish intake and chelation therapy, which tries to flush metals out of the body.

On the campaign trail, Kennedy portrayed himself as energetic and youthful compared to Biden and Trump, engaging in vigorous activities such as skiing and weightlifting. Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in February The White House said a medical revealed “no new concerns” about the president’s health and that O’Connor would not need any cognitive testing. Trump campaigned late last year published a letter It made broad statements about the former president’s health — including saying he was in “excellent” health and that his cognitive tests were “exceptional” — but did not include information about the tests Trump had or what the results were.

Kennedy’s views on personal health were a distinctive feature of his public image, including his long-standing skepticism about certain vaccines. Although he is the founder of the Children’s Health Protection Organization, a group accused of spreading false information about vaccines, he has denied being “anti-vaccine” advocates.

This story has been updated with additional details and reaction.

CNN’s Brenda Goodman contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *