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Open Access Sleep Mechanisms in Health and Disease

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Excess sleepiness, abnormal sleep patterns, non-restorative sleep, and fatigue are becoming increasingly pervasive in modern society. Identifying substances and mechanisms that modulate sleep and vigilance during health and disease is a critical prelude to eventual development of interventions to prevent or alleviate these disabling problems. A unified interdisciplinary approach that includes neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and molecular biology will promote elucidation of the complex biology of sleep. Integration of basic sleep physiology with modern genetic techniques will eventually lead to identification of specific genes and substances involved in regulation of various facets of sleep. The review presented here highlights recent progress in defining the anatomy and physiology of sleep-wake regulatory systems, delineating the role of homeostatic and circadian process in regulating sleep and wakefulness, and establishing the relationship of sleep and sleep disorders to other medical conditions. Particular emphasis is placed on reviewing the interactions between sleep, infectious challenge, and host defense response, and on identifying mechanisms that contribute to variation in sleep patterns among various strains of inbred mice.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois 62794

Publication date: 01 October 2003

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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