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October 12, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(15):1161-1164. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760410005002

Malarial fever was first used therapeutically in 1917 by Wagner-Jauregg1 in the treatment of dementia paralytica. This investigator had previously tried tuberculin and typhoid vaccine in the treatment of this disease and had obtained very good results with both these agents. By 1928 he had treated 2,000 dementia paralytica patients with malarial fever, as reported by his co-worker Gerstmann,2 and in 1931 Wagner-Jauregg3 summarized the results of malarial therapy in 3,000 cases of cerebrospinal syphilis that had been studied in the Vienna Psychiatric Clinic. Wagner-Jauregg was convinced that malarial therapy was much superior to other pyrogenic agents in the treatment of dementia paralytica, and this view is now quite widely held by neurologists.

In view of the excellent results that are often obtained in rheumatoid arthritis by the intravenous injection of typhoid vaccine, it occurred to us that arthritis, like dementia paralytica, might respond well to malarial