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All about sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) causes of sleeping sickness symptoms of sleeping sickness diagnosis of sleeping sickness treatment for sleeping sickness {sleep disorders} dysomnias insomnia narcolepsy sleep apnea restless legs syndrome delayed sleep phase syndrome night terror sleepwalking (somnambulism) bedwetting sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) sleeping sickness sleep paralysis snoring bruxism jet lag

What's the treatment for sleeping sickness?

If the disease is diagnosed early, the chances of cure are high. The type of treatment depends on the phase of the disease: initial or neurological. Success in the latter phase depends on having a drug that can cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the parasite. Four drugs have been used until now. Without treatment, sleeping sickness will lead to death. Unfortunately, however, those medications effective against the Trypanosoma brucei complex protozoa all have significant potential side effects for the patient. Suramin, eflornithine, pentamidine, and several drugs which contain arsenic (a chemical which in higher doses is highly poisonous to humans), are all effective anti-trypanosomal agents. Each of these drugs, however, requires careful monitoring to ensure that the drugs themselves do not cause serious complications such as fatal hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction, kidney or liver damage, or inflammation of the brain. In short, most drugs are old, difficult to administer in poor conditions and by no means always successful. Early diagnosis of the disease, which would guarantee low-risk treatment on an outpatient basis, can rarely be achieved. It is absolutely necessary that a new producer continues the production and the marketing of Eflornithine, the only currently available medicine which can treat the neurological phase of T.b. gambiense.

More information on sleeping sickness

What is sleeping sickness? - Sleeping sickness or African trypanosomiasis is an infectious parasitic disease carried by tsetse flies and characterized by inflammation of the brain.
What causes sleeping sickness? - Sleeping sickness is caused by two organisms, T. brucei rhodesiense and T. brucei gambiense. Gambiense-infected people develop drowsiness during the day.
What're the symptoms of sleeping sickness? - Symptoms of sleeping sickness begin with fever, headaches, and joint pains. Other symptoms resemble Parkinson's disease.
How is sleeping sickness diagnosed? - Diagnosis of sleeping sickness can be made by microscopic examination of fluid from the original sore at the site of the tsetse fly bite.
What's the treatment for sleeping sickness? - Treatment for sleeping sickness depends on the phase of the disease: initial or neurological.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005