Julius Wagner-Jauregg (7 March 1857 – 27 September 1940) was an Austrian physician. In 1927, Julius Wagner-Jauregg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine .

Life and Career

Julius Wagner-Jauregg was born on 7 March 1857, in Wels, Austria.

He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and earned his medical degree in 1880.

Wagner-Jauregg specialized in neurology and psychiatry and became a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vienna.


His significant contributions to medicine include his research on the treatment of psychiatric illnesses and neurosyphilis (a late-stage complication of syphilis).

He is best known for developing a treatment for general paresis of the insane (GPI), a severe neuropsychiatric disorder caused by syphilis infection.

In 1927, he introduced the use of malaria fever therapy as a treatment for GPI, which involved intentionally infecting patients with malaria to induce a high fever. The resulting fever helped kill the syphilis bacteria, leading to the remission of GPI symptoms.


This discovery earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1927, making him the first psychiatrist to receive a Nobel Prize.

Julius Wagner-Jauregg passed away on September 27, 1940, in Vienna, Austria, at the age of 83.

Award and Legacy

Julius Wagner-Jauregg received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1927 for his development of malaria fever therapy as a treatment for general paresis of the insane (GPI). This groundbreaking therapy had a significant impact on the field of medicine and helped save many lives.

Julius Wagner-Jauregg’s legacy primarily revolves around his groundbreaking work in the treatment of GPI using malaria fever therapy. His discovery marked a significant advancement in the treatment of neurosyphilis and had a positive impact on the lives of many patients. While the use of malaria therapy for syphilis has largely been replaced by more modern and safer treatments, Wagner-Jauregg’s innovative approach was a testament to the creativity and determination of medical researchers in the early 20th century. His Nobel Prize recognition solidified his place in the history of medicine as a pioneer in the field of neurology and psychiatry.

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