Characterizing Factors that Impact the Evolution of Neurocysticercosis Cysts

This project will use cyst-level data and multistate modeling to examine transitions of individual cysts through stages of evolution from the disease progress perspective, as well as the effectiveness of anthelminthic treatment such as albendazole (ALB), and the patient and cyst characteristics that modify treatment impact.

Specifically, we will conduct cyst-level analysis to identify the cyst and patient characteristics that impact NC cyst evolution and ALB treatment effectiveness using data from a 2001-05 randomized controlled trial conducted in Ecuador that compared ALB treatment to placebo among 178 patients over 24 months follow-up with brain imaging (CT/MRI) conducted at baseline, months 1, 6, 12 and 24.

This methodological approach will advance neurocysticercosis research by providing more detailed information on the cyst evolutionary course. Results from these analyses will increase our understanding of the factors that modify the effectiveness of ALB, the first step towards the development of more precise patient treatment options and the improvement of patient outcomes. The new statistical methods may also have applications to modeling other diseases that evolve through predefined clinical states and impact multiple body regions when assessed in longitudinal studies with intermittent data collection and various forms of censoring.

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