Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Once Had a Dead Worm in His Brain That Caused Memory Loss

“I have cognitive problems, clearly,” he said in the 2012 deposition.

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May 8 2024, Published 10:13 a.m. ET

RFK Jr. with his hand on his forehead holding a microphone.
Source: Getty IMages

While he has a range of fairly controversial views, one thing that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign has not faced thus far are questions about their candidate's health. That seems set to change following reports that a worm was once found in the third-party candidate's brain.

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Following this startling revelation, many naturally wanted to learn more about the exact nature of RFK's health situation, and why this information wasn't made available earlier on in the campaign. Here's what we know so far about RJK Jr.'s overall health, and the brain worm.

RFK Jr. on 'Fox & Friends' in April of 2024.
Source: Getty Images
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RFK has faced undisclosed health issues for decades.

According to reporting in The New York Times, RFK was facing memory loss so severe that friends grew concerned that he had a brain tumor. Kennedy revealed that several top neurologists diagnosed him with a tumor, according to a 2012 deposition obtained by The Times, and another neurologist became the first to suggest that it might not be a tumor, but a dead parasite in his head.

The doctor said that the abnormality on his scans “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died."

While the worm incident is undoubtedly the most bizarre story related to RFK's health, it's not the only previously undisclosed issue he's faced over the course of his life. He has suffered from atrial fibrilation for decades, and was hospitalized at least four times as a result.

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The common heartbeat abnormality can lead to an increased risk of stroke, has reportedly not bothered RFK in over a decade.

He also said that he had been diagnosed with mercury poisoning, and claimed that it was likely because he had ingested too much fish containing the dangerous metal.

“I have cognitive problems, clearly,” he said in the 2012 deposition. “I have short-term memory loss, and I have longer-term memory loss that affects me.”

Source: Twitter/@mattyglesias
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RFK Jr. says that he has recovered from the brain worm.

In a recent interview with The Times, RFK said that he had recovered from the memory loss and fogginess related to the parasite, and felt no aftereffects from it.

Throughout the campaign, RFK and his campaign have sought to portray him as a younger more vigorous alternative to Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who are both at least seven years his senior.

This information about his health complicates that slightly, but doctors say that it is possible for patients to recover from this kind of parasitic invasion.

RFK has not been treated for the parasite, but doctors suspect that it was likely a pork tapeworm larva that crawled its way into his brain.

Some tapeworm can live in the brain for years, feeding on the nutrients produced by the body, without causing any serious health problems. Others can cause serious problems, though, especially when they are about to die. The most common symptoms are dizziness, headaches, and seizures. On top of that, the dead worm can act as a benign tumor, one that remains in your brain even if you make a recovery.

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