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February 2, 1994

Malaria Therapy for Neurosyphilis-Reply

Author Affiliations

Wimbledon, England
University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1994;271(5):348. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510290030030

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In Reply.  —We were interested to read the letter by Ms Whitrow, whose excellent review of the history of Wagner-Jauregg we cited in our article. However, she produces no new data that would lead us to alter our conclusion that we still do not know if malariotherapy was an efficacious therapy for neurosyphilis. The fact that many contemporary clinicians thought it worked is not adequate proof, nor is the comparative trial of malariotherapy with recurrent fever. The proper trial would have been a randomized, controlled trial of malariotherapy with a placebo, but as we pointed out, the randomized, controlled trial was not in use at the time Wagner-Jauregg was studying this question. It is not true that untreated neurosyphilis was always lethal in a predictable time period, so the comparison with recurrent fever, while of interest, does not speak to the question of the efficacy of malariotherapy. Please note that

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