Human African Trypanosomiasis

Reference work entry


Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as “sleeping sickness,” is a parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense or Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. The parasite is transmitted by the tsetse fly. The name of the disease stems from the rather typical sleep disturbances, with a disappearance of the circadian rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. Mental confusion and a wide range of psychiatric disorders including personality disorders, behavioral changes and mood alterations are often the symptoms that alert the patient and the people surrounding him. If it remains untreated the disease ends with coma and ultimately death.


Public Health Psychiatric Disorder Social Policy Circadian Rhythm Behavioral Change 
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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

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