In 1927, the Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg (7 March 1857 – 27 September 1940) received the Nobel Prize for his “pyrotherapy” – he deliberately infected patients with diseases to induce a fever in order to forestall the dementia and other dreadful complications associated with neurosyphilis. Initially he tried the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes or S. agalactiae which causes the condition known as erisipela.
There are quite a number of horrible consequences of erisipela – as composer Richard Wagner, among many others, attested. Wagner-Jauregg’s second choice was tuberculin which was an ineffective cure for tuberculosis, but is still used as a diagnostic for that disease. The third choice was malaria parasites which were used from 1917 to 1940. There were apparently about 15% of patients dying from malaria and other complications instead of syphilis. The therapy is, as far as I know, no longer in use. Wagner-Jauregg advocated sterilization and was a proponent of eugenics. Although he was quite anti-Semitic, he was denied membership in the Nazi party because his first wife was Jewish.
It seems likely that a range of people, notably at least those with certain types of cerebral palsy and certain types of arthrogryposis, have been suffering with excruciating pain in the soles of their feet. We neurotypicals who should have spotted this just from watching people walk, let alone measuring (and done something about it), owe yet another apology. More effort, more compassion and a lot less crackpot ideas.