A case of resolution of an acute psychotic episode after high fever

Gabriele Sani, Giovanni Manfredi, Isabella Pacchiarotti, Saverio Simone Caltagirone, Iginia Mancinelli, Alexia E. Koukopoulos, Caterina Tatarelli, Giorgio D. Kotzalidis, Roberto Tatarelli, Paolo Girardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fever (pyretotherapy) was used for psychosis during the turn of the 19 th century, but pyretotherapy (ie, the treatment of a disorder by inducing fever) fell out of use after the introduction of convulsive methods. Here, we report on a case of schizoaffective disorder and review classical and recent literature on fever and psychosis. The patient developed auditory hallucinations, persecutory delusional ideas, and was terrified soon upon his arrival in a foreign country. After being treated for 12 days with olanzapine and haloperidol, he developed a fever due to urinary infection; his creatine phosphokinase levels were high, prompting the suspension of antipsychotics. Psychotic symptom resolution followed immediately fever abatement. Antipsychotics were reintroduced at lower dosages. He was discharged asymptomatic with a prescription of olanzapine 15 mg/day and haloperidol 3 mg/day. The time course of symptom resolution in this patient suggests that fever had a beneficial role in this case. The associations between body temperature changes and psychotic symptoms need to be further studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-450
Number of pages4
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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