Positive Effect of Fever on Symptoms of Autism

Helen V. Ratajczak, PhD, Robert B. Sothern, PhD


Autism is no longer considered incurable.  Numerous reports have documented cures of autism, especially in young children.  In addition, transient improvement in symptoms of ASD has been reported during natural fever in response to infection, suggesting the potential use of fever as a therapy leading to a cure.  Fever has proven to be very effective in treatment of human disorders.  In the past, fever in response to malaria was successfully used to cure >84% of individuals with the terminal condition dementia paralytica.  Malariotherapy has also been used to treat human immunodeficiency virus.  Pertinent to autism, recent approaches to alleviate symptoms using heat alone include Sulforaphane (a phytochemical derived from a number of cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli), which has a fever-like effect, and the use of hot water baths to increase body temperature.  However, these two means of producing heat do not include the involvement of the immune response, which provides antibodies, inflammatory cytokines, and other means of alleviating the symptoms of autism.  It is suggested that trials of various means of producing fever be conducted in populations of individuals with autism.  Of note, it is essential that the cause(s) of any induced fever can be cured.  Herpes might be considered as a cause of fever that would be effective in alleviating symptoms of autism.  A naturally-occurring infection in humans, herpes has been reported to be cured.  Overall, the literature to date suggests that purposeful induction of fever is a promising approach in the search for an alleviation and/or cure of ASD.  

[N A J Med Sci. 2016;9(4):167-171.   DOI:  10.7156/najms.2016.0904167]


Key Words: autism spectrum disorder, fever, neuroinflammation


autism spectrum disorder, fever, neuroinflammation

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