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February 2, 1994

Malaria Therapy for Neurosyphilis

JAMA. 1994;271(5):348. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510290030029

To the Editor.  —Austin et al,1 although referring to numerous favorable reports of the results of malaria therapy for the treatment of general paresis from many US hospitals—they omit quoting the even more favorable results obtained all over Europe and, of course, particularly in Vienna, Austria, where the treatment originated—conclude their article by stating that "we still do not know if malariotherapy ever helped in the treatment of neurosyphilis." This is simply not true. There are confirmed statements that thousands of patients, if not cured, were able to resume their occupations and return to their families. This has been vouchsafed not only by Julius Wagner-Jauregg himself, but by his assistants and many psychiatrists throughout Europe. In Switzerland, A. Hoche, writing in 1925, believed it a duty to use the malaria treatment.2 The most eminent physicians of his time recommended Wagner-Jauregg for the Nobel prize, which the Nobel committee

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