Sitting in my doctor’s office, I read an article that intrigued me but made me shudder simultaneously. In the November 8, 2013 issue of Science pp. 684-687, I read of Plasmodium vivax, the long considered “benign” malaria parasite which threatens billions of people, but more interestingly to me as an MSIDS patient, was it’s historical usage as a cure for tertiary syphilis. Physicians in the late 19th century believed that high fever could help cure many mental illnesses. These poor patients were institutionalized with a dismally gruesome future of increasingly neurotic behavior and paralyzation. They had no hope.
Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg initially used tuberculin and salmonella toxins but his fever experiments failed. He reasoned this was due to too low of a fever, so in 1917 when a soldier fighting in the Balkans was admitted to his ward with Malaria, he tried again using his blood to inoculate nine neurosyphilis patients. Six recovered.
Thus started the wave of malariotherapy which became the treatment for tertiary syphilis. No one is sure how it worked but the resulting high fevers appeared to help the patients’ immune systems. About half resumed to normal activities; many resumed independent lives.
According to Kevin Baird of the Eiikman Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Jakarta, this medicinal use of P. vivax is in part to blame for the neglect of the disease it causes as people assumed it must be harmless even though it killed as many as 15% of patients who had the treatment.
This background paves the way for what is to follow:
The above youtube is not only an excellent expose on MSIDS in Australia, but also on the current usage of hyperthermia. Australian patients, who appear to have MSIDS are ignored and told it’s all in their heads. The video shows patients getting worse, having to quit work, and breaking down in front of the camera.
Same story, different country.
Kudos to Dr. Schloeffel who is one Australian doctor who refuses to accept patient abuse and neglect and treats his patients clinically not basing all of his decisions on faulty testing.
Due to the lack of acceptance and treatment, many Australian MSIDS patients are heading to Germany to receive the old fashioned hyperthermia treatment at St. George Clinic. Dr. Frederich Douwes, stumbled upon Hyperthermia as a possible cure for MSIDS while treating cancer patients. Again, hyperthermia gives the body an artificial fever. For over 6 hours a patient’s body is heated to 41.7 degrees.
Dauwes says he has treated over 18,000 whole body hyperthermia patients with no negative side-effects. Other modalities for MSIDS patients are included as well such as ozone, Reiki, acupuncture, foot spa detox, magnetic and laser therapy and IV antibiotics. It costs anywhere from $30,000 – $55,000 for treatment.
The video is approximately 23 minutes long and worth every minute of it. Very well done. Although published in 2014, nothing much has changed in regards to general physician knowledge either in Australia or the United States.
Lastly, this raises a question: supposedly “between 1917 and the rise of penicillin in the 1940’s, tens of thousands of syphilis patients were infected with malaria.” p. 686. We know for sure syphilis is spread through sexual contact. They not only had syphilis but malaria. What happened to those people and their off-spring? Is there a connection between the malaria experiment on syphilis patients and MSIDS today?
And hyperthermia? I’m just thankful they aren’t using Malaria!