Definition of Therapy, fever

Therapy, fever: Using abnormal elevations in body temperature as a tool to treat disease. This was done in the past by deliberately raising the patient's temperature to cause fever.

Fever therapy was pioneered by the Austrian neuropsychiatrist Julius Wagner von Jauregg (1857-1940). He inoculated the malarial parasite into patients with dementia paralytica, the third and final stage of syphilis when it affects the nervous system and brain. The patients not surprisingly developed malaria with a high fever and the fever halted the relentless course of the syphilis.

In 1927 Wagner von Jauregg received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of malaria inoculation in the treatment of dementia paralytica."

Fever therapy is rarely, if ever, used at present


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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