Physiology (Bethesda) 2004 Aug;19:198-206
Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA.
African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is hallmarked by sleep and wakefulness disturbances. In contrast to other infections, there is no hypersomnia, but the sleep pattern is fragmented. This overview discusses that the causative agents, the parasites Trypanosoma brucei, target circumventricular organs in the brain, causing inflammatory responses in hypothalamic structures that may lead to dysfunctions in the circadian-timing and sleep-regulatory systems.