Julius Wagner-Jauregg, psychiatrist

Julius Wagner-Jauregg, psychiatrist

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Julius Wagner-Jauregg (1857-1940), Austrian psychiatrist. While working in a psychiatric clinc Wagner-Jauregg noticed that psychoses patients showed improvement after contracteing infections that caused fever. He proposed that fevers be deliberately induced in mental patients. He first tried tuberculin, an extract of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, but had little success. In 1917 he tried inoculating neurosyphilis patients with Plasmodium parasite, the cause of malaria. The prolonged and high fever cured the mental degeneration, and the malaria itself could be easily treated with quinine. Wagner-Jauregg received the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this discovery.

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