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Parasitol Today. 1989 Jul;5(7):215-8.

Neurobiology of sleeping sickness.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK.


The advanced stages of sleeping sickness are correlated with a spread of trypanosomes into the central nervous system (CNS), producing a disseminated encephalitis. Inflammatory reactions extend along the blood vessels causing perivascular cuffing, which consists of in filtrations and proliferations of lymphocytes and also increased numbers of astrocytes and microglia. Progress in our understanding of the functions of astrocytes suggests that they are efficient antigen-presenting cells, initiating and regulating the intracerebral inflammatory response and limiting parasite spread to the perivascular spaces.

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